May 8, 2018 By Tara Law
Businesses and community members will rally Wednesday to protest a Department of Transportation program that restricts parking on a stretch of Roosevelt Avenue during rush hour periods.
The protest will take aim at the DOT’s Clear Curbs initiative, a six-month pilot program that went into effect March 9 that bans vehicles from standing or parking on Roosevelt Avenue–between Broadway and 90th Street– during certain parts of the day.
Business owners say that the program has made it difficult for customers to reach their shops at crucial hours.
The protest, “Say No to the DOT Clear Curbs Initiative,” will take place at Manuel de Dios Triangle, located at 83rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue, at 9 a.m.
The event is being spearheaded by a new organization, the Roosevelt Avenue Business Coalition. The group, formed by members of the 82nd Street Partnership, aims to bring business owners along Roosevelt Avenue together to promote their interests.
In a flyer for the event, the Roosevelt Avenue Business Coalition wrote that local businesses are suffering as a result of the DOT’s program.
“The initiative is hindering deliveries and driving away customers,” the flyer reads. “The City claims that this is just a 6-month pilot program. Given NYC high operating costs, our small, mom & pops shops can’t afford this City imposed pay cut.”
Matt Santiago, the owner of Elmhurst Wait Loss Center, said that he had decided to participate in the rally because the initiative has hurt his business and other businesses in the area. His goal for the rally is to persuade the DOT to put an immediate stop to the Clear Curbs pilot program.
According to Santiago, traffic tickets have scared off customers who are accustomed to parking on the street. Between the start of the program and May 6, the NYPD has handed out 2,023 summonses along the Roosevelt Avenue stretch as part of the initiative, police said.
“It used to be difficult to park on Roosevelt Avenue, but now it’s impossible,” Santiago said.
The hours chosen by the DOT for the parking ban— from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.— are crucial times for businesses, Santiago said.
The later bracket is particularly detrimental to his weight loss center, Santiago said, because people frequently set up appointments after work or after they pick up their children from school.
The impact on the businesses, said Santiago, has been immediate.
“I’ve been on Roosevelt Avenue for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
I will be there to counterprotest in favor of Clear Curbs. The people who live in this neighborhood and ride the bus should have their voices heard too. I would encourage others to come as well. We’re sick and tired of blocked impassible streets.
Just another excuse for the city to get money from the working class , it has nothing to do with safer street or ease congestion. This 6 month pilot program is a bad idea from the beginning . DOT should put their agents directing traffic during peak hours
Wrong top hat, I ride the Q32 bus to my job on Lexington Ave in Manhattan and this initiative has shaved 25 minutes off my daily trip. Great job DOT, keep it up.
DOT should be directing traffic during rush hour not give out tickets like a bunch of robots programmed to do one thing .
DOT hires some unprofessional people, disrespectful goons that only give out tickets
What are they going to do, stand mid-block and direct the bus to weave around the delivery truck double-parked on one side of the street while there is a bus trying to weave around another delivery truck double-parked on the other side 20 ft down? Sorry, you can’t “direct traffic” when there is too little road left for buses and cars to actually travel down the road. These shop owners are delusional if they think that the situation on Roosevelt wasn’t critically out-of-control before Clear Curbs. Honestly, I think they just don’t care. They have no regard for the people in this neighborhood who take the bus. I only take the Q33 or Q32 once or twice a week, but some people rely on these services.
NYPD & Traffic Agents giving out summons and tickets to double parked cars , they should be looking for those drunk drivers and reckless motorists that blow by red lights and stop signs. Let the delivery drivers do their jobs. NYC Mayor is backwards
Truth- You’re the one who has it backwards. NYPD & traffic agents are enforcing the rules of the road, not just the rules you feel should be enforced. That is their job. Good work NYPD and Traffic agents keep that traffic moving.