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The parking rules on a Flushing street corner could have been written by Franz Kafka.
No matter which direction residents park around a gentle curve that joins Beech Street and Syringa Place, the city has issued tickets that say “wrong way” and has even towed offending cars, but Carmen Mosca has had enough.
“It’s ridiculous,” Mosca said Sunday, when she held a rally to protest the seemingly impossible parking situation. “It doesn’t matter which way we park, we still get a ticket.”
The confusion stems from the fact that Beech Street, which is one-way southwest, and Syringa Place, which is one-way northwest, do not intersect at a 90-degree angle but gently curve into each other.
The nearest parking signs on each street point toward the curve, but there is no point to denote where one parking area ends and the other begins.
“It happens any day of the week,” Mosca said. “[The city] is not using common sense.”
And on any given day, two opposite-facing cars would be parked right next to each other in a different place, as confused residents try to guess correctly to avoid a ticket.
The NYPD could not be reached for comment.
She also stood out in the street under an umbrella all day Sunday to collect signatures, but she did not have to do much convincing.
Famatta Massalay squinted at Mosca’s handmade wooden signs that read “No more tickets here!” from across the street before saying, “I want to sign that petition!” and marching near the curb in question.
Massalay demonstrated how she first parked her vehicle in the direction of traffic along Beech Street and received a “wrong way” ticket. The next time she parked in the opposite direction and still got a “wrong way” ticket.
“I’ve had my vehicle towed from this corner,” she said. “I was facing the wrong way. What exactly is the barometer they are using?”
Silvia Guzman and Carlos Schmidt went through the same maddening ordeal.
“Common sense would tell you to put up a sign to let everyone know which way they need to face,” Schmidt said.
And that sign once existed — which clearly separated Beech Street parking from Syringa Place parking — but it was taken down in 2003 when condos were built at the corner and never replaced.
Mosca took a photo of the discarded sign and unsuccessfully petitioned the city Department of Transportaion to install a new one.
The DOT did could not be reached for comment.
Mosca has documents from the DOT saying that if a sign is missing, motorists must obey the existing signs on the block, but in this case they both point to the same nebulous area.
The curb was cut at one point for a crosswalk, which led many residents to wrongfully assume it demarked the border of the two streets, but it has had no impact on the “wrong way “ tickets.
Nearly 100 people signed Mosca’s petition, and she hopes to convince the city to install a sign and reimburse everyone who received a ticket.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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