Parking Olympics

 Parking Olympics

By Beth Hanning

Here we go again! May 15 started the No Parking rules for the summer. Much of Rockaway will have no parking on their blocks on the weekends and Neponsit will have no parking at all until September 30. Let the Parking Olympics begin.

The term Parking Olympics refers to the organization and planning it takes each Friday to organize the cars. Who is going in first? Who is using the car this weekend? Who needs to be last? Does anyone have a friend coming down? If so, I can take one of our cars and park them somewhere for the weekend. Wait, we cannot park on the south side of Beach Channel Drive anymore for the weekend until after the early alternate side. Ok, wait where can we park? (I do not want to give away my great locations.)

You would think with the organization and planning and sometimes frustration that I would be against the parking regulations.  However, I am one of the people okay with it.

I grew up in a home that did not have a driveway and my parents always made it work. Their Parking Olympics were making sure to be done with their chores by Friday at around 10:30 a.m. so they could get a spot on the beach block of 117th for the weekend. If there was a family party in Long Island, they would park in the Municipal Lot when we returned home, and my father would be there by 8 a.m. to feed the meter for the day. If we needed to get around town, we rode our bikes! (A thing I still do.)

I guess I am one of those snobs who does not want people to come to the beach for the day (even though as of right now, it does not look like anyone will be attending the beach in most of the Beach 120s this summer), due to us not having facilities for the visitors. This debate has been on social media for years. People who rent or have purchased in more recent years are annoyed with the rule. However, they purchased or signed a lease knowing, in fact, that was the rule. A young teacher at my school rented an apartment this past winter. I said, “Don’t forget no parking rules in the summer.” He smiled and said that he was planning on renting a spot. When he told me recently, he found a driveway to rent, he did not even complain about the cost.  He actually commented positively. His positive comment was, “I did not have to sign a yearly lease; the parking is only for the months the regulations are in effect.”

So, be organized: have the keys handy and get the bikes summer ready.

Special thanks to John and Chelsea Hanning for telling me about the term “Dinner Olympics.” That’s their term for what is for dinner each night! I then thought, wow, what I do each weekend in the summer is similar; hence, the Parking Olympics.

I hope everyone is a medalist this weekend and no one is a loser and gets a ticket!

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