Want to ward off tow trucks? Expand paid parking


To the editor:

Parking one’s car for free wherever and whenever one wishes is not a constitutionally guaranteed right. Saying “I just left it for a few minutes...” is a self-serving excuse to demonstrate that rules to govern our getting along do not apply to the writer of the excuse: thus, “rules are for others, not me.”

But having a paid parking-lot structure, with a customer validation stamp for participating merchants, can help mitigate what appears to be a regular reported Riverdale occurrence “they towed my car but...” and an absolute chronic shortage of affordable short-term shoppers parking.

The land exists: Johnson Avenue has an open-air single-level surface lot, as does Skyview.

Advantages are numerous:

1. More parking for all shoppers

2. Cleaner air as less hunting for legitimate spots takes place

3. Potentially increased business for Johnson Avenue and Skyview area merchants, as the word spreads that shopping is now easier with a car, perhaps even creating a better mix of stores, as the area becomes known as a shopping destination

4. Less complaining about towing companies. In fact, the towing companies will likely be the biggest objectors, as their business model will fall apart

5. Greatly diminished double- and triple-parking, thus increasing the safety of many of our more vulnerable pedestrians such as seniors and families with young children

We can mitigate (hopefully) increased traffic with traffic signals to enter and leave the lot; perhaps build in pedestrian only areas for the safety of shoppers.  Saying traffic studies nix this common-sense idea is just another excuse to not solve a readily solvable perennial problem. There could even be a reasonable portion of spots set aside for those who want to have an assured place to park their cars on a monthly basis, including daytime spots for commuting merchants. 

I am sure that if there is money to be made, the local business merchants would sign on, the local politicians would find a way to shine a favorable light on themselves, and the whiners would just wind up using a system that makes life generally easier for  themselves 

The nimby response of no proposed solution is in fact no solution. Just complaining about a problem, when a solution is readily available at hand, defies logic. 

If you drive in our city, you pay. I, for one, would be willing to pay for the privilege. I already do, and will continue to do so as long as parking is made increasingly more difficult. No proposed solution by the complainers, merchants, local politicians and general cheapskates, who assume no costs to their behavior, will continue to choke off what could be a shining example of a local neighborhood shopping district. 

I love my local stores and patronize them regularly. From Regal to Riverdale Vintners, to The Glatt Shop, seeing them succeed means that when we need them, they will be there for us, the Riverdale residents and others who depend on them. 

I implore whomever it is that needs to get the ball rolling to start it rolling sooner than later. Whether NYC buys the land and then builds municipal lots on the open space, or private developers develop them, that is to be determined. Just, as Nike said, do it. 

And let’s put an end to the periodic easy pickings of local, tow companies, improving he quality of life for all Riverdalians. 

Adam Stoler

towing, Adam Stoler