Chinese in Flushing call parking rules 'unfair'
Updated: 2014-05-03 06:19
By AMY HE in New York (China Daily USA)
New York City Council member Peter Koo said that he has introduced a bill in the council to get metered parking rules in Flushing, Queens, changed to accommodate a growing community with more and more visitors.
Business owners and residents have complained that some of the busiest streets in Flushing, a predominantly Chinese community, require putting money in parking meters until 10 pm compared to 7pm for many other parts of the city. They have also complained about the lack of parking spaces as the area expands and more people visit for food and shopping.
Koo and Flushing residents said on Friday that the parking problems affect local businesses and disrupt day-to-day residential activity.
"For the people who are visiting Flushing to eat, how are they supposed to go out to feed the meter every hour? All they're doing is looking at their watch," Phil Gim, former Republican candidate for the State Assembly, told China Daily.
Gim and other community members said at a meeting in Koo's office on Friday that the 10 pm limit is "unfair".
"That's the major concern from the public, especially in our community. Why does the Chinese community always have things like this happen? People are starting to voice their concerns about this, so that's a good start," said Jerry Lo, a local businessman, at the meeting.
No official complaint has been registered with the city's Transportation department, so Gim and other business leaders gathered more than 1,500 signatures from Flushing residents and business owners in support of having the department adjust the parking limits.
"We need to be united as a community," said Gim. "If we're not, then it's just one person talking and we don't have the same effectiveness. We want to present Peter with a bunch of signatures from business owners, business leaders, community leaders, and residents and patrons."
Business owners have said that due to the restrictive parking measures, customers spend less time at stores and that the community needs more one- and two-hour parking spaces for shoppers.
"A lot of people from Boston and New Jersey are coming in to Flushing to shop for groceries, but there's no parking and it's giving us a lot of traffic problems," said Timothy Chuang, the co-chair of the Flushing Business Improvement District.
"The regulations in place aren't fair, so we have to fight them. Why are we not being treated the same as other? We pay taxes just like everybody else," Chuang said. "In the United States, you won't get treated well just because you're law-abiding. You have to complain if you want things."
Phone and e-mail requests for comment from the Transportation department were not returned.