Pop’s Popular Clothing is getting its parking spaces back.
The family-run Williamsburg-based work clothes store (7 Franklin Ave.), confirmed new parking regulations in front of its store after several months of wrangling with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Small Business Services.
After liaisons with Councilmember David Yassky (D-Williamsburg) and Senator Dan Squadron (D-Williamsburg) intervened with city officials, a stretch of asphalt in front of Pop’s store on 7 Franklin Avenue will now permit 2-hour parking from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., when before it was only an unloading zone. The new regulations will allow the store’s customers, many of whom operate trucks and other large commercial vehicles to park nearby without receiving parking tickets while they pick up Carhatt pants, Red Wing shoes, and other items.
“I have to say that I appreciate that the DOT did something for me,” said Pop’s owner Steve Rosenberg.“It’s not an easy thing for them to change that.I appreciate all the help that people have given us.It wasn’t an easy time.”
Over the past year, parking became become scare near Franklin and Kent Avenues as the DOT converted the two-way roadway to a one-way northbound truck route. Though some parking has since been restored, Rosenberg told this paper in September that many of his customers were receiving parking tickets and having a difficult time finding parking spaces in the neighborhood near the Williamsburg waterfront.
Rosenberg decided to approach the city about restoring some parking near his store while retaining the bike lane on Kent Avenue.
“I told (the Department of Small Business Services) ‘I have 15,000 names, half those names will send e-mails to the DOT and politicians asking about the parking,’” said Rosenberg.“‘The city will be inundated with e-mails.I’ll continue to tell them to do this on a weekly basis till I’m done.I’m doing one trick at a time. I’m going to start being aggressive until I start doing something.’”
City officials listened, and three weeks later, parking has been restored.
Williamsburg resident and Community Board 1 Transportation Chair Teresa Toro praised the DOT for addressing issues that impact local businesses like Pop’s, but said that the situation could have been avoided if the agency listened to community members earlier.
“The interim designs for Kent Avenue were an exercise in poor planning, and the harmful effects, like additional heavy truck traffic barrelling down Wythe Avenue, will haunt Williamsburg residents for the foreseeable future,” said Toro
EWVIDCO’s Karen Nieves, who advises small businesses in the Greenpoint-Wiliamsburg Industrial Business Zone, was happy to hear that the agency came to an agreement with Pop’s, particularly before the holiday season.
“Pop’s is truly an icon and we are thrilled they will be able to continue to provide service to the blue collar workers in our community. We want to thank all of our elected, appointed officials and NYC DOT for supporting our local businesses and residents,” said Nieves.
Meanwhile, Rosenberg will be sending an e-mail to customers on his mailing list, reminding them that parking has been restored.
“I do expect that business will return immediately as soon as people know that they are able to park here,” said Rosenberg.“We’re customer friendly.It wasn’t very customer friendly to have that parking.”
©2009 Community News Group
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