Due the current traffic quagmire of MTA construction, parking on 86th Street near Bay Parkway can be tough. A public parking lot would probably make things much easier. Have you ever wondered why there isn’t one?
Longtime community activist Lou Powsner has a great opinion piece on yournabe.com this week. In it, he tells the story of a municipal parking lot on 86th Street between Bay Parkway and Bay 29th that, due to politics, never happened back in 1999- a decision area residents are still being inconvenienced by 12 years later.
Powsner describes a series of Community Board 11 meetings where the idea met resistance. The lot was eventually defeated at the third hearing, while Lou was on vacation.
“…angered politicians filed for a third hearing with an allegedly revised plan, this time one that provided stores and housing and offices, with an underground parking garage for occupants only.
That time I was not there to listen — or to testify. I was on vacation in Puerto Rico. I came home with a good shade of tan and deep chagrin. They won.”
An underground lot was built, along with Medical offices and a residential development. While the public was assured that there would be spaces for shoppers, the developers (surprise!) restricted parking to residents of the building.
“…this week we went to that back of the same building, fronting Bay 29th Street, and there we saw the parking that they lied about. Their underground garage is not accessible to me the public. Only for residents who live behind on the Bay 29th Street side is their separate entrance; a combination residence and a few medical offices. The indoor parking is evidently for residents only and a disabled medical client like me had to park at a meter, two distant blocks from their blood center.
That councilman is long gone, so was the salaried community board manager who engineered the deal that kept Brooklyn’s busy merchants from offering parking on a very prestigious shopping street.”