Difficult conditions and restricted parking on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, Queens is an ongoing issue for many residents and visitors.
Bell Boulevard has been a major attraction to consumers for shopping and recreational activities. As the years have progressed, there have been many issues with difficult parking conditions as well as restricted parking. Some of these parking issues range from minimal parking on side streets and many restrictions such as questionable “no parking zones.” Not only do these parking issues affect the businesses in the area, but they also make this fun-filled boulevard more of a burden to visit. “Every time I come to Bell Boulevard for some shopping or to get something to eat, I spend more time thinking if I’m going to go back to my car and find a parking ticket,” said Queens resident Chrisanthi Yanakis.
Bell Boulevard is a historical area that was founded by a shipping merchant, named Abraham Bell, in the 1840s, according to the Greater Astoria Historical Society. Taking a ride down Bell Boulevard, there is the Jackson Hole Diner. Right across the street is the Milk Farm Supermarket, and a little further down there are a variety of clothing stores and restaurants. There are also a few bars. “I always like going to Bell Boulevard, especially when I was younger just to walk around or grab something to eat with some friends. It’s just really convenient and for me, not far from my house,” said Marist College student, Eric Stimitz.
Despite all of the positive aspects of Bell Boulevard, many people still are turned away because of the difficult parking and high possibilities of getting a parking ticket. “I know it’s the law to put money in a parking meter, but you never know how much time you are going to be parked for. There is so much to do on Bell Boulevard and it’s hard to enjoy your time there, always fearing that you may not make it back in time before a meter maid writes you up for a ticket,” said Yanakis. The side streets of Bell Boulevard are occupied with resident’s cars. This minimizes the possibility of avoiding meter parking. A majority of the boulevards parking is occupied by employees of businesses and consumers who leave their cars and walk around the streets.
Bell Boulevard is a prime location for people who work in the city. On 45th avenue and Bell Boulevard, there is the Long Island Railroad Train Station. Unfortunately, early morning commuters face restricted parking issues close by the station.
On side streets near the station, there are red signs which read “no parking from 7AM-8AM” and “no parking from 8AM-9AM” Both of these times are popular commuting hours. “When I would drive to the train station, I would spend 20 minutes and sometimes even a half hour looking for parking. A majority of the spots I find have restricted parking signs,” said commuter and Bayside resident, Eva Minades. Minades is an accountant who works in One Penn Plaza in Manhattan. She relies on the train to get her into the city every day and finds it unfair that these signs take up so many parking spots.
“Each restricted side street could fit at least four or five parked cars. Now I get a ride to work from family or friends because I find the restrictions ridiculous and I refuse parking 10 blocks away from the station,” said Minades. Minades is not the only person with this problem.
Constance Hotzoglou is another Bayside resident who relies on the train to get her into work in Manhattan. “It’s unfortunate that the closest train station to me is on Bell Boulevard, yet I go out of my way to drive to another train station just so I can park my car at ease,” said Hotzoglou. Hotzoglou drives to the Douglaston train station, which is further from her home or at times she takes the bus.