Commuters no longer welcome around college parkway


Parking can be a pain in many cities. But in New York City, some might just call it hell. 

Yet parking between the Burger King on Broadway and the West 242nd Street train station might be a little easier for those wanting to patronize businesses there after city officials cut the parking limit from 12 hours to four. 

It’s all thanks to the transportation department with a little nudge from Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, with the hopes there will be more parking turnover in the Manhattan College Parkway area.

 “Those spots were being used for commuters,” Dinowitz said. “Most of them were from Westchester, and I didn’t think it was fair for a piece of our neighborhood to be used for parking for Westchester.”

Up until the end of August, more than two-dozen spaces on that stretch of road let people park up to 12 hours for $8. The original idea, according to some in the neighborhood, was that faculty from nearby Manhattan College would use the spaces. Instead, it seemed to become a popular spot for commuters, looking to pick up the 1 train for jobs in Manhattan.

But those were 26 fewer spaces for potential customers, and Dinowitz felt it was time local businesses got those parking spots back. It’s not that long-term parking is gone — they’ve been relocated, DOT said, south of West 242nd.

“Nothing against the people in Westchester, but I represent the people in my district,” Dinowitz said. “I think it was more important to make the parking available for the people in my neighborhood.” 

A cashier at Gourmet Market and Bagel, who identified himself as Habib Ali, agreed the new parking rules would be good for business because it would keep people coming and going. However, in the end, it’s not necessarily cars that bring people into Ali’s store.

“I mean the truth … it’s the train,” he said. “If the train is stuck, really the whole neighborhood is dead. They fix it every week. It’s really hard for us. The train is important for business.”

Burger King manager Mohammad Khan didn’t see that much of a difference from the parking change either.

“Everything’s been fine,” he said. “A lot of people park over here. Business is OK.” 

Yet, the reduced hours are good for Asian Tokyo Japanese Cuisine on Manhattan College Parkway. 

“When it’s 12 hours, you don’t move your car,” said Asian Tokyo owner Jay Lin. “It’s (much) better for restaurants.”

Meter times on that stretch of road aren’t new. A year ago, Dan Padernacht’s traffic and transportation committee addressed that issue, but at the time, the committee chose not to recommend any action, he said. However, Padernacht told The Riverdale Press he’s grateful for the current adjustment, although he’d prefer the time be reduced even more like Dinowitz originally proposed.

“They should be two hours, which focuses that parking on the merchants,” Padernacht said, “allowing enough time for individuals to visit the restaurants and shops at that location, and provide turnover for other visitors.”