Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pretty Rude Parking Job By One Of 76th Precinct's Finest

For many years now, the 76th Precinct on Union Street between Henry and Hicks Street has maximized parking in front of the precinct house by pulling their marked (and unmarked) cars at an angle half-way onto the sidewalk.

I think it's safe to say that no one in the neighborhood has a problem with this. We all understand that parking in Carroll Gardens is difficult and that the police officers need to have easy access to their cars.
However, it would appear that one of the 76th Precinct finest may have pushed the envelope just a wee bit.

A PMFA reader sent me the photo above showing a silver vehicle , with an NYPD sticker and the words "Fresh Gem" in big letters on its windshield, parked right at the intersection of Union and Henry Streets, blocking the crosswalk.
The reader writes:
"There is a cop that has taken to parking in the crosswalk of Henry Street & Union Street.
I noticed it about 2 weeks ago and it seemed entitled and rude. But this evening I realIy got mad as I watched an elderly woman navigate the intersection. She couldn't roll her walker down the ramp and was forced to circumvent this stupid car which it completely blocking the ramps and the crosswalks.
This "Fresh Gem" car should not be rendering this corner impassible.  There is a NYPD sticker in the window. It is very clearly not a squad car, not that one of those should be parked there either."

Apparently, this has been going on for two weeks. The car is is parked there when the reader comes home at about 5 or 6 pm. Things have most probably been a bit busier for the 76th Precinct because of Hurricane Sandy and the resulting power outages in Red Hook. But blocking the sidewalk crossing never seems like a great idea.
Has anyone else noticed this car?


counterfugue said...

Oh this drives me mad.

Why is the NYPD the only public service entitled to such blatant transgressions of law? Do they have any idea what the parking situation is for city school teachers? Would you like to know how often city FD would like to blow the red lights when they are NOT on a call?
Is this how we solve policy and infrastructure problems -- just do what we like? Imagine how social services would work if social workers could say, "no one has a problem with me doing what I need to."

To make matters worse, crime in the neighborhood has gotten bad lately. Think of all of the attacks and robberies along Columbia, Hicks, Henry (NEAR the 76TH!!!) When was the last time readers saw actual patrol cops? (I did -- on 3rd street x Bond a week ago. On foot. A woman in her front yard nearly died of hysteria -- "I haven't seen a beat cop in YEARS!" she told him. She was happy, but very shocked.)

Point? If you're going to flout the law and fix parking shortages by parking on **the sidewalk** and blocking little old ladies from crossing, you had better have an A+++++ reputation in the neighborhood. The 76 is anything but that!

And while we're on it, is anyone else tired of the cops double-parking on Court, blocking traffic *and* busses? (When they are NOT on calls, obviously.) Is anyone else tired of double-parked delivery trucks clogging Court and Smith between 2-6 everyday, with nary a cop to be seen.

Forget giving a ticket -- wouldn't it be nice if the *beat cop* would simply help redirect traffic? Help merge the lanes? Get the truck to not block 2 lanes? Keep them moving at a speedy clip instead of stopping for a drink?

Am I frustrated with the 76 not giving basic due courtesy to the neighborhood that it serves? Yeah. I'm not looking for an overhaul, but a change in attitude would be nice (I'm looking at you, "Fresh Gem"!)

Timothy Reed said...

Go into the precinct and ask for the commander. This should be simple to fix.

Anonymous said...

NYPD- Do as I say...Not as I do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mr. Reed. Go in and complain about it!

Anonymous said...

I find this critique ill-timed and ridiculous. With the onset of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, do we really want to criticize the police for parking in an inappropriate location? They are 1st responders performing during a crisis and for that reason they should be given extra leeway. When school teachers start responding to emergencies, I expect that they too, will be given some leeway. Did the cop park inappropriately? Yes he did. But with all that is going on in our neighborhood, is this really at the top of the list? What about the homeless shelter? What about all the criminals that come out of the projects? What about the Cobble Hill Park summons curfew?

As for the beat cop, how many cops do they have? The inference from the post above suggests that they have more than enough cops to man every block in our neighborhood or enough to at least direct traffic instead of fight crime that’s “gotten very bad lately.” If that’s the case then I want, no DEMAND, one right away! As for the absence of cops on Court Street, well I can lay your fears to rest as I got a speeding summons on Court near Baltic a few weeks ago! And yes, I was speeding (5 mph over the limit not the 10mph she cited me with), but since when do they give out speeding summonses on Court!? Who’d ever expect that?! I’ve never seen that before! So I guess instead of shooing away the double parked cars and trucks which I wish they were doing that day, they are focusing on “speeding cars” instead. I suggest we demand more traffic cops for the Court Street problem. This’ll free up the cops to fight crime and utilize those traffic cops to shoo away those pesky trucks and double parkers.

Anonymous said...

They are notorious for parking in crosswalks, parking in front of fire hydrants, double parked for hours, etc. A few days ago, they were idling in that very same intersection. Pedestrians trying to cross the street kept waiting for them to get out of the crosswalk, yet they seemed totally oblivious to us. They make their own rules, and it's infuriating. One man knocked on their rolled-up window and politely asked that they please move back out of the crosswalk, and the cop just yelled through the window, "I'm waiting for a parking spot!" And he continued to idle there. They have a fairly large parking lot on Union St that seems to be used more for vehicle storage -- has anyone every seen them use it?! I don't deny that parking is a pain in the neighborhood, for everyone, but that doesn't mean Our Finest can continually get away with breaking the rules...more like Our Fine-ish...

Mike said...

Thanks for not publishing my comment Katia - I will not participate in your site in the future since you don't care to hear everyone's comments equally.

SimpleTwig Architecture said...

This isn't solely a NYPD problem even though almost all precincts in the city have similar parking situations. Unfortunately it's a systemic problem with schools, parks, fire stations and other city service buildings. The problem comes down to public money, that to purchase the required land or to add additional floors, to provide parking would cost the tax payers too much (it is NYC after all).

But, given that the NYC Zoning Resolution makes it illegal to build these type of buildings without adequate parking means that NYC needs to find the money, purchase the land and build the garages so that teachers, police officers, staff, EMS personnel, et. al. have adequate parking that does not impact the neighborhood (it does lower home values) and become an eye sore and safety hazard.

Of course one points to the police who should be enforcing the road rules, but perhaps one should point the finger at DOB inspectors, or perhaps those who approve plans or allow variances, so this can stop for future projects, and fix existing situations like seen in this photo.