John Quaglione, the Republican candidate for the 43rd District City Council seat, yesterday called on the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide residents with a minimum 48-hour notice for any non-emergency street work before towing cars.
Quaglione contacted DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about the matter after learning that several residents along Colonial Road in Bay Ridge have had their cars towed with what they claim was very little warning of impending street work.
The district includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.
“This afternoon, neighbors are again reaching out to me about how such lack of notice is not fair to the people who may not use their car everyday, or people who park far from their home,” said Quaglione. “Unfortunately, those folks will have their cars towed again tomorrow morning from Colonial Road like they did last week.”
According to Quaglione, the DOT posted “TOW AWAY ZONE – No Parking Road Repair 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.” warning signs on street poles of the thorughfare in the late afternoon of the day before the street was to be milled. Yesterday, when the street was slated for repaving, the signs were posted around 3 p.m., only 15 hours before the road work was scheduled to begin at 6: 00 a.m., leaving residents who may have parked their cars between Bay Ridge Ave, and 85th Sts. on Colonial Rd. at risk of being towed.
Mariann Frances, 59, a longtime Bay Ridge resident said she witnessed several cars being towed between 78th and 79th streets on Colonial Rd.
Consecutive alternate side parking days on Colonial Rd. afford drivers the opportunity to leave their cars on one side of the street for several days. Many car owners do not live on the block and have likely parked before DOT warning signs were mounted alerting residents about the construction.
“If they’re putting a sign up at 6:00 p.m. the night before on Wednesday, nobody knows they should move their car if they’re on the wrong side of the block,” said Frances. “Those signs have to be posted a week in advance.”
Quaglione said frustrated residents contacted him two weeks ago during the milling process and then again when DOT was set to pave the 10-block stretch.
“I agree with the neighbors and do believe that a DOT policy change is needed. That is why this afternoon, I wrote to Commissioner Polly Trottenberg of the Department of Transportation requesting that for any non-emergency DOT road work, a minimum of 48 hours should be given in advance of towing,” said Quaglione.
The DOT did not respond at post time to a number of inquiries on the agency’s policy of notifying residents of impending construction. However, the agency does post a milling and paving schedule on their website, of which the Colonial Rd. project is listed.
But Quaglione said giving residents more of a notice before cars get towed is needed.
“With more notification, less cars would be towed, residents would be more fairly treated, and the streets will get paved all the same,” said Quaglione.
Quaglione is running against Democrat Justin Brannan in the upcoming general election, slated for Nov. 7.