Bell Boulevard parking could extend to 2 hours

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Community Board 11 will vote next month to determine whether parking meters along Bell Boulevard should be extended to two-hour time limits amid a lack of parking spots and aggressive ticketing by traffic agents along the commercial strip.

The board’s Transportation Committee has approved a plan that would change meters along the Bayside roadway from one hour to two hours. Some meters on the strip changed from 30- to 20-minute time limits last fall.

Community leaders are concerned residents will not visit the street’s row of restaurants and stores if they think they will be ticketed.

The Bayside Business Improvement District is pushing an initiative that would give drivers more time between feeding meters. CB 11 was scheduled to vote on the measure at its Sept. 6 meeting.

Bayside residents and business owners have long called for improvements to the parking situation on Bell Boulevard, where they complain there are too few parking spots and tickets are readily handed out by traffic agents.

But some board members do not support extending the meters, arguing that the change would create even more of a parking problem along the boulevard.

“I think it’s a horrendous mistake,” said Frank Skala, a board member and president of the East Bayside Homeowners Association. “On most of the stores on Bell Boulevard, you go in and out in 10 minutes. Restaurants want longer meters for customers, but that will mean people are taking up spaces for more time. There are 300 stores between 38th Avenue and Northern Boulevard and most of them are small stores.”

Skala said CB 11 previously voted down a measure to extend the strip’s meters.

The city Department of Transportation would make the final decision on the matter following the board’s vote this fall.

The Bayside BID could not be reached for comment.

The community board will also vote on an application to legalize an extension to Bayside’s Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Queens, at the corner of Horace Harding Expressway and Springfield Boulevard.

Seinfeld said the church’s extension had gone over the allowable amount of space and that the house of worship was coming before CB 11 to correct the matter. The church is a community facility in a residential zone.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 6:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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