Monday, October 24, 2011
MTA painting project has merchants suffering
From the Times Ledger:
Business owners along Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven said their profits have plummeted because of construction crews that block off long stretches of parking spots, even when no work is being done.
For the last several weeks, crews hired by the city have been repainting the support structure of the elevated J/Z train tracks that runs above the avenue. Before the crews paint, they post yellow no parking signs on all the meters for several blocks that are effective for sometimes as long as a week, but according to business owners and workers on the avenue, they do not work each of those days.
“Nobody gives a hoot for the working people,” said Larry Giove, who works at Elita Beauty Salon, at 95-01 Jamaica Ave.
During the first week in October, he said the crews did not show up for two days and no one came to take down the no parking signs.
Customers who would normally have visited the salon did not show up either.
“I can’t lose money because they don’t want to take away the signs,” he said.
The process proceeds in four phases, according to the city Metropolitan Transportation Authority. First the crews strip off the old paint, then they apply a protective coat to the metal, then a primer, then several coats of green paint.
The whole process takes about 10 days, said a spokesman for the MTA, who countered that crews are working on the avenue seven days a week in some capacity.
As far as the parking signs are concerned, it takes at least a day to clear all the parked cars out of the area, the spokesman said, which is why crews leave the signs up even when it appears they are not working.