What some businesses consider free parking, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth) would like to turn into freed-up parking for city residents.
Holden on May 19 introduced a bill that would prohibit certain businesses — such as car rental companies, repair garages and auto body shops — from parking cars and trucks they own on city streets for lease, rental or sale.
The business-owned vehicles are defined as “inventory vehicles” in Intro. 393, which has been referred to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The bill, if passed, also would apply in some cases to what are referred to as “shop vehicles,” which are not owned by the businesses, but are in their possession for servicing or repair.
“Right now we have several rental companies in my district that take up residential parking in certain areas of the community,” Holden told the Chronicle. “It could be other companies. But they park them all over the residential streets.”
One area, he said, was along Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village. He added that some sections of Woodhaven Boulevard are plagued with rental trucks.
“I got complaints from residents and I went out and took a look,” he said. “And they were allowed to do it. I couldn’t believe it. They should park on their own lots. And some of them do have lots, but they have overflow that they park all around residential areas, sometimes for weeks.” He said while a fleet of cars is bad enough, the trucks can be unsightly not only due to their size but because many are covered in graffiti.
A copy of the bill available on the city’s website states that fines would run between $250 and $400 per incident. To perhaps give greater incentive, each day any single vehicle is parked on the street would be considered a separate violation.
Holden said he has not yet gauged the level of support among his colleagues, but has no doubt that those with residential communities similar to his own — “with residents who have to park on the street” — would be wiling to sign on.
“There’s no advantage to allowing commercial vehicles to take up space,” he said.