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Taxis clog streets of White Plains Road hurting businesses

Bronx Times

Drivers trying to find parking along the White Plains Road shopping strip are crying “No Fare!”

They charge taxis illegally hanging out near the No. 2 and 5 IRT Pelham Parkway subway station are illegally hogging all the spaces.

“They’re there all day long taking up parking spaces,” complained Hazel Miura, who sits on the 49th Precinct Community Council. “The other day when I went to Petland, there were four taxis parked at the meters and three double-parked.”

Residents can see Lincoln TownCars or Crown Victoria models hanging by the elevated subway station, waiting for homebound commuters.

They also honk at shoppers coming and going to the many stores like jewelry boutiques, restaurants and salons.

There was a legal taxi stand there several years ago, according to the city Department of Transportation. Parking signs posted along White Plains Road limit parking to one hour.

“When one taxi leaves, another slips into the spot,” said Miura, upset over the practice since privately-owned vehicles are left with little to no parking options. “I see the same car circling around the block trying to find parking and these guys are taking up three or four spots.”

Discount Taxi driver Ali Ramzan, who said he has been driving around the Bronx for 30 years, said he never had a problem idling along the Pelham Parkway station.

“A sergeant and captain from the 49th Precinct said it’s okay if three cabs park here,” said Ramzan.

Joe Thompson, interim president of the White Plains Business Improvement District, said store owners have been dealing with this issue ever since they first organized the BID in 1994.

“The merchants are not pleased with it,” said Thompson. “DOT has not come down hard on these drivers.”

The nonprofit BID covers a four-block area in the Morris Park/Pelham Parkway section, with 100 stores as members.

At a May 1 meeting of the 49th Precinct Community Council, Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson said he has launched crackdowns from time to time, only for the problem to return.

“It’s one of the things we address. We stop. It gets worse. We address again,” he said.

He told Miura he will again place the issue “on the agenda.”

Thompson said he is talking to merchants to see what might be done to fix the problem, but he wasn’t hopeful, saying “This problem is almost an unfixable thing.”

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or email dcruz@cnglocal.com.

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