Construction Zone Nearly Eliminates Legal Parking on Busy Brooklyn Block

By Rachel Holliday Smith on July 31, 2014 8:23am 

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  Residents on a busy block in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens found their on-street parking almost entirely removed by a newly constructed streetscape last week.
Lincoln Road Parking Change
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PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS Lincoln Road residents are parking mad.

The Department of Transportation eliminated an estimated 15 parking spots on a fast-changing block of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens to make way for work on a residential development site.

Busy Lincoln Road between Flatbush and Ocean avenues is home to several large apartment buildings, three bus lines and the Prospect Park stop of the B, Q and Franklin Avenue shuttle trains. It’s also next to the entrance to the new Lakeside skating rink in Prospect Park.

“People are always fighting for parking,” said Dynishal Gross, a Lincoln Road resident and staffer to City Councilmember Robert Cornegy. She noticed last week that no standing signs were installed next to most of the parking spaces on the block, leaving only about 10 legal spots in total. About half of those are in a two-hour-maximum metered zone.

A few days later, the DOT redrew the street’s middle line, turning what was previously one lane for traffic and one lane for parking into one lane for traffic on the south side of the street, eliminating nearly all parking there.

Signs reading “temporary construction regulation” were on display Tuesday near 33 Lincoln Rd, the site of what will become an eight-story, L-shaped mixed-use building just east of the street's subway station, according to building records.

The DOT and Anderson and Associates, the developer behind the building, did not respond to inquiries about the parking change. 

A Lincoln Road resident named Suzanne, the mother of a 6-month-old baby, said the elimination of parking spaces means more time and gas spent circling the neighborhood for a spot and longer walks to her building with “grocer[ies], laundry, baby strollers, etc.,” she said in an email, asking that her last name be withheld. She added that she's upset the DOT didn't inform locals of the parking changes.

“There was zero engagement [from the DOT] of the directly impacted before it was decided,” she wrote.

Major changes to street parking are usually announced to the community board, Gross said. But when neighbors contacted Community Board 9’s district manager, Pearl Miles, she was unaware of the new parking rules, according to emails.

In a letter to CB9, Lincoln Road resident and Brooklyn College associate professor Jennifer Adams articulated her frustration with the new regulations and pointed out that construction of 33 Lincoln Rd. already eliminated a few parking spaces when a bus stop was moved last year to make way for construction.

“This should not be allowed to happen,” Adams wrote. “If this is the case, then the developers should have to find and pay for suitable parking for all residents of Lincoln Road.”

Suzanne had a different solution.

“I would like to see non-metered parking equal to the number of spots removed immediately added back to the neighborhood,” she said, adding that “parking on the block on the days when no work is being done” should be considered, too.

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