Jeremiah first reported on this campaign yesterday at Vanishing New York.
Given the never-ending East Houston Reconstruction Project, the folks at Punjabi Grocery & Deli on East First Street near Avenue A/East Houston are struggling to stay in business. The storefront, which arguably serves the best inexpensive vegetarian food in the neighborhood, is losing a big chunk of its audience: cab drivers.
The construction site has taken up all the parking spaces for cab drivers, making it nearly impossible for them to stop in for a meal. (Those who do stop face a getting a ticket.)
So Punjabi is petitioning the city to bring a taxi relief stand to the front of the deli, "a place where taxis can park for an hour so drivers can get a meal, use the rest room, and relax before getting back behind the wheel."
Here's more from the petition:
Though the City and state government collect taxes for each trip from commuters in the form of surcharge through hard working of drivers, they do not create or give much facility and respect to taxi drivers. Since last many years this particular area is under major road and other repairs.
On the top of that construction companies using this area as their personal storage and stocking facility. Due to that in this all area you only see no parking signs. Parking to use the facility become more and more difficult and drivers get parking violation tickets. But the city government official do not think about creating facility but they are only interested in creating more hardship to their hardworking community.
[East First Street
You can find the petition here.
This is exactly the kind of business that we need around here. As it stands, the inexpensive, quick-serve restaurants are disappearing (Bereket ... Cafe Rakka on Avenue B ... First Avenue Pierogi and Deli ... and soon, Snack Dragon, to name a few).
As for the East Houston Reconstruction Project, it is now scheduled (PDF!) to be completed by mid-2016, according to the latest city estimates. It doesn't seem possible that Punjabi Grocery & Deli can last two more years at this rate.