Brooklyn, NY – Williamsburg’s Jewish residents are heaving a sigh of relief after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced significant changes to local regulations that will alleviate the pre-Shabbos parking crunch.
de Blasio’s pledges came on Wednesday night at a Town Hall meeting at St. Francis College hosted by Councilman Stephen Levin of Brooklyn’s 33rd District.
According to a press release issued by Levin last week, the councilman had already petitioned city officials to suspend alternate side parking on Myrtle Avenue on Saturdays following Jewish holidays after numerous Orthodox residents were slapped with parking tickets because they were unable to move their cars during the three day yomim tovim.
Addressing a packed crowd in the St. Francis gym, de Blasio addressed the current alternate side parking schedule in the area, which he explained had local residents moving their cars four days a week for street cleaning, while most other city dwellers only contend with alternate side parking twice a week. The mayor appeared to be surprised to hear from one Myrtle Avenue resident that his block was currently scheduled for alternate side parking twice a day, every day, including Saturdays.
“Sometimes the rules of the city government don’t make sense and sometimes the bureaucracy confounds us,” observed de Blasio.
de Blasio said that come spring, street cleaning would be reduced to just twice per week throughout Williamsburg. Alternate side parking on Myrtle Avenue for the nine block stretch between Classon and Nostrand avenues located south of Williamsburg would be changed shortly from its current Saturday schedule to a different day of the week.
The mayor noted that the current configuration was “a challenge created by parking rules that don’t recognize the reality for so many people in the community who honor Shabbos.”
de Blasio promised another change to be made in the next few weeks: adjusting the timing on parking meters on parts of Division Avenue and Roebling Street to coincide with Shabbos, so that Orthodox residents could safely park on those streets without fear of being ticketed.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg also said that changes to Friday afternoon meter restrictions on portions of Lee Avenue are also under consideration.