By Michael Sedon Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New parking restrictions at Grasmere’s Angels’ Circle should free up spaces so family members of 9/11 victims memorialized there can have easy access to pay their respects.
The city Department of Transportation confirmed that “1 hour parking” signs will go up as soon as the weather stays above freezing so the concrete bases for the posts could cure properly when poured.
Founder and director of the memorial Wendy Pellegrino often brings flowers, plants and supplies to maintain the site from her home in New Jersey, but in recent months parking near the memorial has become impossible, she said.”We can’t park a block away with supplies to care for the Circle,” she said. “The families went through enough, and they should be able to visit in peace.”
Ms. Pellegrino said many visitors are seniors and use canes or wheelchairs, and they pay their respects in about 15 minutes, especially around holidays. But people parking around the Circle long term are preventing visitors and those maintaining the memorial from getting to it.
When Ms. Pellegrino heard the news about the forthcoming parking restrictions she began spreading the word by phone and social media.
“The 9/11 families are so happy,” Ms. Pellegrino said. “I’m thrilled. When I got the phone call I was dancing. And a big thank you to Borough President James Oddo.”
Oddo helped the effort along after several conversations with Ms. Pellegrino.
“She’s poured, literally, her heart and soul into one of the most heartfelt and special memorials there is,” Oddo said. “I understand parking in the area is a premium, but Angels’ Circle is that important to our borough. Wendy and others have given so much to create and maintain this sacred place, everyone else will just have to deal…. DOT issued a work order for the installation of the signs and they will be installed shortly.”