The Sunday Parking Free-for-All on Junction Boulevard

On Sunday, parking meters aren't in effect, people double-park by the dozen, and access to commercial streets gets harder.

Isn't free parking glorious?
Isn't free parking glorious?

Free parking isn’t free.

Sure, on Sundays, drivers don’t have to pay parking meters. But they impose plenty of costs on the rest of us — not to mention other drivers stuck in the logjam that free parking creates.

For proof, check out this scene from Junction Boulevard in Queens yesterday. Biking on Junction just north of Roosevelt Avenue, Clarence Eckerson counted a whopping 27 double-parked cars on a mere two blocks. Good luck if you count on the Q72 to get to work at LaGuardia — first you have to get through this sludge:

Free Sunday parking meters are a legacy of city legislation enacted in October, 2005. Until then, about half of the city’s parking meters did charge on Sundays.

Overriding a mayoral veto, the City Council voted to make all parking meters free on Sunday. The council was egged on by mayoral challenger Freddy Ferrer, who went on the attack against incumbent Michael Bloomberg by claiming that Sunday parking meters were a tax on churchgoers.

Instead of making it easier for anyone to get around, the result of free Sunday meters is this mess: Curbs are clogged all day long, double-parking runs rampant, and access to commercial streets gets harder.

  • Transit Bus Bike No Car

    I have a friend who lives one block behind Junction Blvd over there and when he saw the video said that one time a few weeks ago an EMS was trying to get down the street and it was completely gridlocked and there was nowhere for ANYONE to go. The EMS vehicle basically became stuck IN PLACE for over 3 minutes and people on the sidewalks were desperately trying to make the double parkers move and direct traffic out of the way, but since there weren’t even drivers in many of the cars it remained frozen.

    Imagine if someone died because of this?

    He said come on over any Saturday or Sunday, it’s always very bad.

  • William Lawson

    There are so many locations like this in which illegal vehicular activity causes traffic chaos and/or is a serious threat to human life but where the NYPD point blank refuses to enforce the law. A professional, fully functional police department would quickly identify such locations and use the ticket-writing power bestowed upon them by their badges to change driver behavior and make traffic flow smoothly and safely again. Unfortunately for us, we have a no-show police department whose incompetence, laziness and fecklessness knows no bounds, and as a result our roads will always be a complete and utter shit show.

  • com63

    Why don’t business owners complain about this? Surely this is an example of customers coming by car that cannot easily get to their businesses.

  • William Lawson

    It’s unknown how many people end up dying in this city because of delayed emergency responses. Probably hard to determine and there are no doubt many cases in which delayed responses share responsibility with other factors. But I have no doubt that people die in New York because of these selfish double parking bastards and everyone else who contributes to the gridlock.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have witnessed scenes in which pedestrians have been screaming at selfish drivers to move the fuck out of the way and let emergency vehicles through, and those drivers have point blank refused to move. TLC drivers are some of the worst offenders. Blocking an emergency vehicle should be a criminal offense punishable with prison time. Anytime an ambulance is held up by a double parker or a move-refuser, the crew should take video of the offender and they should serve a few months in jail.

  • But if the biz owners already have their spot at curbside for free, they probably don’t care so much! LOL!

  • com63

    Haha. So true. Business owner: “I had no problem finding a spot at 7am on a Sunday, my customers must be having trouble because of those new bike lanes.”

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