No Available Parking in Middle Village ‒ Who's to blame? - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

No Available Parking in Middle Village ‒ Who's to blame?

Many residents in Middle Village have turned their garages into living space.

We are hearing quite often the complaint of unavailable parking on the streets of Middle Village. Let's look at the issue from the Middle Village perspective only and see why that appears to be the case.

First, are you aware that all the one-family row houses in Middle Village and there are many, have garages in the community driveways? Immediately outside those garages there is a parking spot. Using the hypothetical number of approximately 80 one family houses on a street and 10 streets that equals 800 houses. That means that if everyone with a garage and parking space outside the garage were to use their available parking right on their own property 1,600 cars would be off our streets! There, I solved your problem already! Understand, there are way more than 10 streets of one-family houses in Middle Village.

Houses with garages in the front also have the two car parking option and additionally they can legally block their own driveway at the curb-cut. Before a police officer issued a ticket he would be required to check the address of ownership from the license plate number to make sure the car at the curb-cut belongs with the address of the house. Captain Cody our former Commander of the 104 Precinct explained that to me.

Now, back to the question of no available parking in Middle Village. Are you aware that many of the owners of one family houses have illegally converted their garages into rooms thereby giving up the luxury of a garage and a parking space right outside that garage? It's illegal to convert a garage into a room and I've seen signs on converted garages from the Department of Buildings (DOB) banning the use of the conversion for living space. It also begs the question of marketability. Why would anyone spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a house with no garage? So, if you are considering illegally converting your garage into a room, think of the hit your house could take monetarily on a future sale in the marketplace.

Also, there are many illegally rented basements. Factoring in those additional cars from the illegal rentals you have put many more cars on the streets, scrounging around looking to park their approximately two cars for each basement rental.

Since Middle Village has no restricted parking it is not unusual to see cars from other neighborhoods come into Middle Village and park their cars on our streets, some for weeks at a time. We have even seen cars parking with a taxi waiting nearby. The purpose of that is to leave the car on the unrestricted streets of Middle Village while outsiders take a trip to the airport or other forms of transportation for sometimes long vacations.

Keep in mind that it is illegal to park any car on any city street for more than seven days. After the seventh day they can be towed away. This is something we have to take seriously and we are pursuing that route to remove unwanted cars that park on our streets for more than seven days. For instance, we have seen cars parked, usually with out-of-state plates, on the Middle Village streets from Fourth of July to Labor Day during the summer months! Outrageous! There are also people who warehouse their junk cars, with out-of-state plates, on our Middle Village streets for months at a time with no ticketing enforcement from the authorities.

Let's not leave out, however, the thoughtless homeowner who brings home his work truck and parks it on our residential streets overnight, never in front of his house, but usually a neighbor's house so that neighbor looks at an unsightlyand often filthy looking large work truck overnight. Recurring violators are the huge yellow Penske Truck Rentals, a business that is located at 67-69 Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park. All trucks can be ticketed that same night by calling 311.

We have many two family houses with illegally rented walk-in basements and that certainly aggravates the lack of parking situation. Notice how many times the word illegal comes up?

I could go on but I think you get the picture. The problem of no parking spaces in Middle Village is a myth, perpetrated by selfish homeowners who have right on their own property the ability to stop complaining and get at least two cars off the street by using their very own garages and spaces right outside those garages.