The meter maids on Bell Boulevard in Bayside have gone on a ticket blitz that is ruining business. Merchants believe Bayside is targeted because it is an affluent area and the city assumes most drivers will pay their fines.
If the city’s purpose was to keep traffic flowing smoothly and make sure shoppers have fair access to parking meters, it is likely few merchants would complain. But Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece is convinced the ticket blitz is a form of “economic discrimination.” He adds, “It’s another form of taxation. It’s an outrage.” We agree.
The merchants say the ticketing is bad for business. They complain truck drivers are finding it impossible to make deliveries to their stores and customers are getting fed up with the $35 tickets.
To make matters worse, the municipal parking lot fills each morning with commuters — many from Long Island — coming to Bayside to take the train to the city.
It is always a temptation, but ticketing should never be used to balance a budget. Tickets should be handed out for reasons of public safety and to keep traffic flowing freely.
We urge the city to call off the dogs. City officials should work with the community board and local merchants to formulate policies that will encourage people to dine and shop on Bell Boulevard.
©2009 Community News Group
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