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Commuters Balk As DOT Changes Parking Regulations In Sunnyside

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- It was one of the best parking deals in town, but not anymore.

A change in parking regulations in Sunnyside, Queens is making life easier for some businesses, but more difficult for some commuters.

Pub owner Ciaran Staunton says a parking squeeze along Queens Boulevard has been costing his business lots of customers.

"If they come in for coffee, they would pay two dollars for coffee and a $115 parking ticket," he told CBS 2's John Metaxas.

The problem is the long-term parking spots under the elevated tracks are taken up by commuters -- leaving few spaces for local residents who want to shop at local businesses.

"It's very hard to find parking around here," Yvette Bernade said.

People say commuters come in from Long Island and hog up the spots for 12 hours and then hop onto the 7 train into the city.

"Sunnyside is not just a place to park your car on your way into Manahttan," said City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

But now -- after complaints from local lawmakers -- the city is stepping in to help. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced the parking spots will be changed from 12-hour parking to four hours maximum.

The move is expected to make things much harder for commuters like Nick Turcut, who lives on Long Island and parks in Queens.

"It's gonna be pretty bad for the people who commute from here to Manhattan for four hours, it's not enough I think," Turcut said.

"They should leave their cars home, take the train in all the way. I'm sure they can leave it in the parking lot on the other side," Gregory Schall said.

While many applauded the change, not every local business owner is for it.

"People come from the city, after work after parking there for eight hours and they come for a slice of pizza. Now where are they going to come for a slice of pizza? They can't park there," Michael Casparem, the owner of Sunnyside Pizza, said.

Others reply that Sunnyside is now open for business.

In addition to the change in muni-meter, a three-hour no standing zone on Queens Boulevard will be cut to one hour.

The new parking regulations take effect October 31.

What do you think about the new regulations?  Share your thoughts in the comments section...

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