"Why does this block of 45th Avenue near Kissena Boulevard always have parking problems?
Because this block contains the 19-story, 289-unit SelfHelp retirement residence, which has had its visitors' parking lot closed to the public since October 2006. As a result, children and grandchildren have been forced to look for parking on the street.
The management instituted a monthly fee of $100 for visitors wishing to park on the building's property to visit their elderly family members. To prevent ambulettes from using the parking lot as a pick-up location, a huge moving gate was installed. Now, ambulettes and taxis crowd the street awaiting their elderly customers, tying up traffic. On cold winter days, the residents are forced to wait on the sidewalk for their rides. The orange tower in the back contains 158 apartments for the elderly, and shares this parking lot with the gray Martin Lande Tower. The latter tower is mentioned in the AIA Guide to New York City. Both are managed by SelfHelp.
This building actually contains two parking lots. The second lot is almost always empty. So much so, that cars often park in front of its gate - in spite of the "No Parking" sign. What does John Liu, the local city councilman have to do with this inconvenience? In October 2006, a group of elderly residents mailed him a letter alleging the fire hazard, traffic woes, and parking shortage that may result from the pay-to-park gated lot. Letters were also mailed to Mayor Bloomberg and State Senator Stavisky. Responses ranged from "Have you spoken to the management?" to "We're looking into it," to no responses at all. A local firefighter told me, "In case of fire, I hope that the doorman has the key to open this gate." Sorry, but only the residents and paying members have the key. My grandparents fear that with a decline of services and unfriendly management, it's only a matter of time before the elderly-low-income limited-profit tower becomes just another luxury conversion." - mazeartist