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Small Business Owners Say Thumbs Down For DOT's 'Clear Curb' Pilot Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A city pilot program to make life easier for New Yorkers has instead had some people suffering instead.

The owners of several small businesses say they're struggling to make ends' meet because the city wants to clear the curb. Some have called it a crisis.

"Since they came into effect we lost a quarter of business," said Harry Kucevic, owner of Prospect Heights Pizzeria. "This is the worst period for us."

Others say it's affected business by as much as 50 percent. Many mom and pop shops have been open for years but fear they won't last after the Department of Transportation cut off parking and deliveries during rush hour in three busy areas across the city.

The "Clear Curbs" pilot program, meant to relieve traffic, implemented no standing rules from 7 to 10 am and 4 to 7 pm in Brooklyn on part of Flatbush Avenue, along Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, and a zone between 45th and 50th Streets in Midtown Manhattan.

The program is scheduled to end in September, but in the meantime business owners and people in the area wonder how much the program has actually helped ease congestion.

CBS2 asked DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about it.

"We've looked at taxi speed and bus speed data and we can clearly see we've reduced congestion in those corridors," said Trottenberg.

The DOT wouldn't provide data on Trottenberg's claims, and city leaders have not said if they'll continue the program after the pilot period ends.

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