To The Editor:
The Rockaway ferry is quickly becoming a success and ridership will continue to grow, so street parking will become critical. The commuters in areas such as Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Far Rockaway, Breezy Point and Bayswater depend on street parking and do not have the option of walking to the dock or availing themselves of the shuttle bus service.
The following are suggestions for increasing street parking:
1. Street cleaning at Beach Channel Drive (on both the north and the south side the street) should be done at night. All street cleaning near the ferry dock should be done at night after 10 p.m.
2. At 108th street, from Beach Channel Drive to the Rockaway Freeway, the center medium has parking on the west side, but not on the east side. By allowing parking on the east side, there could be an additional parking for 19 cars.
The Rockaway Freeway is one lane from 108th Street east. If parking was allowed on both sides of the street west, from the Scholars Academy to the turn near the back entrance to Stop and Shop, there could be an additional 180 parking spots.
3. There is a fenced-in area under the A train (behind Rite Aid) that should be leased to the new hotel for valet parking. Given the fact that the ferry service has only been in service for a month, clearly ridership will continue to grow and more parking will be needed.
4. At the ferry landing, there is and will be a great need for bike racks. The Rockaway Beach Civic and NYC Parks were successful in getting a bike rack installed that will hold 10 bikes near the ferry landing—but we need more. The bike rack need is the greatest in Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park and their locations should be decided upon by the local civic associations in those areas.
In conclusion, the two items that need to be taken care immediately are adjusting the hours on street sweeping signs and installation of bike racks. The items should be an easy fix for our two most senior elected officials in the City Council and the State Senate.