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Consumers and businesses have mixed feelings about new city electronic parking meters, known as Muni-Meters, which have popped up around Ozone Park this month.
“Good for government, not good for us,” said Ozone Park resident Sharma Gunjan.
She said she saw positive and negative aspects of the new meters, which are replacing the single meters across the city.
Although she said she likes that the new meters accept credit cards, whereas the old single meters required coins, she has found the new Muni-Meters more complicated to use and does not like the extra step of putting a ticket in the dashboard.
She also said that adding more time to the meter was more of a production than with the single meters, which allowed people to add an extra 15 minutes by quickly dropping in an extra quarter.
The city began installing the Muni-Meters in the outer boroughs starting in the summer of 2011 and the work was expected to be complete by the end of this month. The new meters were installed in parts of South Ozone Park Dec. 10, including on Rockaway Boulevard between 115th Street up to the Van Wyck Expressway and on Lefferts Boulevard between 115th and 149th avenues and other streets.
The city Department of Transportation says the Muni-Meters have advantages over the single-space meters, including the reduction of meters needed on the sidewalk and additional capacity for parked cars along the curb.
Several businesses along Rockaway and Lefferts boulevards said they were not bothered by the new meters, with some seeming not to have noticed until asked about the new meters.
One businessman who owns a liquor shop said he though the new meters were great.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Randy Tulsieran, owner of A&R Liquor and Wines on the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and 115th Avenue.
He said the new meters let people pay for longer parking hours than the single space meters, and he thought the result could be good for businesses.
Others said they disliked the new meters, but their problems stemmed more from the cost of parking than the meters themselves.
“I don’t like them,” said Ali Shah, who lives in Yonkers but was patronizing a business on Rockaway Boulevard. He said he was upset at the amount he had to pay for parking. “It’s not right.”
Another man, Tony Rodriguez, was more emphatic in his description of parking costs.
“Everything is going up. But your salary isn’t going up,” he said. “It’s bull.”
One man who was getting his hair cut at a barbershop on Lefferts and Linden boulevards had a more direct complaint against the new meters: He said when he deposited his money in a meter that day, the ticket he got back was not for the right number of hours.
“The time is wrong on it,” said Terrance Argon, frowning.
His barber was sympathetic.
“He got robbed,” he said.
Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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