Bronxites Pick Parking Over People

Residents of the Zerega Avenue section of the Bronx are upset that beds for the sick will be putting a crimp in neighborhood parking stock.

The Bronx Times reports that a new four-story building on the corner of Herschell Street and Westchester Avenue, 505447039_0db9d7b3c4.jpgwith apartments and a ground-floor medical facility, will be exempt from parking requirements.

Neighbors of Zerega were riled up over the Herschell project and fearful that another medical facility would eat up even more parking spaces in an already congested area.

[T]he good news for Zerega residents is that the Herschell facility shouldn't be opening anytime soon. According to the Department of Buildings, construction is in the very early stages.

According to data from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, about 70 percent of households in the vicinity own at least one car. It's also the district represented by state senator and congestion pricing editorialist Jeff Klein, who believes charging 4.9 percent of his constituents to drive into Lower Manhattan "threatens to cut into the very heart which defines the culture of this city."

Not far to the southwest, the tenants association of Sound View Houses is fighting the development of a 124-space parking lot for private apartments. At a CB 9 meeting last November, according to the Daily News, "Tenants and community leaders shouted down the plan."

Though HA officials say the parking lot is underutilized, tenants insist it is sorely needed.

"If you don't get to the parking lot at a certain time, you don't get a spot," said Mary McGee, president of the tenants association.

Area residents say parking is a challenge even on a good day on streets around the development and throughout the community, which has alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules.

Nobody wants this in Sound View," said Shirlee Evans, president of the 43rd Precinct Community Council. "We're going to need more officers and firefighters."

Photo of Zerega Ave 6 train stop by mariab3bx/Flickr