New York City cut short a pilot program in August that prohibited parking or loading during peak travel times along a major corridor in Queens following months of complaints from small businesses. The program, known as Clear Curbs, launched in March and aimed to tackle congestion by preventing parking and curbside deliveries between 7am and 10am and between 4pm and 7pm along a busy stretch of Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.

The New York Police Department said it also stepped up traffic enforcement in the area, issuing more than 4,500 parking tickets and towing nearly 500 vehicles as part of the program.

Representatives of small businesses in the area said that the new rules led to a decline in revenue of between 20% and 50% since the program began. Some stores moved or closed down during the program, they said. Leslie Ramos, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, a business improvement group in Jackson Heights, said that the parking regulations hurt every type of business in the area, from retailers and restaurants to lawyers’ and doctors’ offices.

A city spokesman said “adjustments” are also being made to the pilot in Brooklyn, where it is in force along a stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Tillary Street. Transportation Department officials said that a Clear Curbs pilot program in Midtown Manhattan, covering most blocks between Sixth Avenue and Madison Avenue from 45th Street to 50th Street, will continue.

In Brooklyn, the NYPD said it has issued almost 7,000 tickets and towed 200 vehicles. In Manhattan officers have issued 80,000 tickets and towed 1,200 vehicles.

The program is one of several that the city launched this past year to try to reduce congestion. Others include stepped up enforcement of block-the-box rules at dozens of busy intersections and the creation of continuous empty curbside lanes across key Midtown cross streets.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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