Illegal parking rampant around Atlantic Yards construction zone in Brooklyn
By Erin Durkin
Illegal parking and phony parking placards are rampant around the Atlantic Yards construction site, locals and advocates say.
A recent survey by a local block association and Transportation Alternatives found 87 cars in no-parking areas on about four and a half blocks near the arena - and only four had legitimate placards that allowed them to be there.
Of the 83 illegally parked cars, a dozen had construction equipment displayed in the dashboard and another 11 had phony placards from police, fire and construction unions, the survey found. None of the cars had been ticketed.
Neighbors and advocates point the finger at the massive construction site and the nearby 78th Precinct - saying parking rules are almost never enforced.
NYPD officials say cops at the 78th Precinct have given out 14 summonses to cars breaking parking rules so far this year.
"It's gotten out of control," said Juan Martinez, general counsel for Transportation Alternatives. "It's clearly a lawless zone."
"If I happen to be working in the construction site, I can't put a hardhat in my dashboard and avoid a ticket under the law, but that's what they're doing," he said.
The problem is widespread.
The Daily News reported last month that a car with a bogus placard from a made-up state agency was able to park all day in some of the city's busiest neighborhoods without being ticketed.
Developer Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation - the state agency that oversees the arena project - say they know illegal parking is a problem near the site, where construction is underway on a new Nets venue.
"We acknowledge that there remains a lack of enforcement in the area, despite ESD's repeated efforts to encourage the NYPD to issue tickets to owners of illegally parked vehicles. As a result, we have begun exploring other parking solutions with Forest City Ratner," said ESDC spokeswoman Beth Mitchell.
A Ratner spokesman said the company has instructed contractors to tell their workers to obey parking rules.
Meanwhile, the illegally parked cars block sidewalks, bus stops and fire hydrants and make it impossible for streets to be cleaned properly, Dean Street Block Association president Peter Krashes said.
"It's bad for the community. It's unsafe," he said. "I've never seen any tickets given to anybody."
An NYPD spokesperson said that the precinct's "commanding officer has also informed personnel assigned to the precinct that individuals found violating the parking restrictions in the area may be subject to disciplinary action," and noted the department has ticketed thousands of cars with bogus parking placards citywide.
Submitted by joseph on December 21, 2011 - 17:35. categories [ ]