Permits a plague on Pierrepont

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Parking is at a premium in Brooklyn Heights even when no laws are being broken. But plenty of laws are — and sometimes by the enforcers of them.

It is illegal to park in a “No Parking” zone, even if your car has a permit from the city, unless that area is designated for use by a specific agency (i.e. NYPD, Department of Education etc). In other words, if you can’t park there legally, neither can the guy with a permit. But respect for regulations is not stopping these scofflaws from congesting our narrow streets.

“A lot of people are parking with impunity,” Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton says. She and the BHA were so outraged in January that they took to the streets with notebooks in hand taking down the license plate numbers of parking offenders.

The Heights Association discovered that the overwhelming majority of permit-brandishing vehicles were there illegally for long periods of time — including weekend evenings — with clearly no business purpose for being there. Permit holders are “storing their cars,” on our streets and not being ticketed, Stanton added.

The main case study for this Heights-wide problem is Pierrepont Street, where flagrant disregard for the rules is the norm. The north side of the street is clearly marked as a “Tuesday Only” parking area. No vehicle, permit or not, should be parked there on any day except Tuesday. On a recent Friday afternoon, I donned my gumshoe disguise and staked out the street. NYPD vans, civilian vehicles with NYPD, Department of Transportation or disabled permits were parked between Hicks and Henry. Yet only one was ticketed — an electrician’s van. None of the permit owners were issued summonses.

While Stanton, the BHA and their 22 notebook-carrying volunteers tried to make a dent in the permit problem back in January, the NYPD’s traffic enforcement agents reportedly have a “no hit” policy on permit holders according to Uncivil Servants, a Web site dedicated to documenting parking enforcement abuse. When WCBS-TV’s Brendan O’Keefe reported on the “selective enforcement” of parking rules by agents last year, he received “personal attacks and threats against my family” from individuals claiming to be police officers.

There may be a break soon in this parking debacle. Mayor Bloomberg has said the city will re-evaluate over 150,000 parking permits that have been issued citywide.

The Kitchen Sink

The ladies who solicit business for Taze on Montague Street have tongues wagging. While some believe the eatery’s marketing tactics are overly aggressive (“Hey, man, want some Turkish food?”) others say the ladies are “cute.” …

Brunch at Jack the Horse is in full swing on Sundays (try the hash; it’s terrific!). …

Oven, the much anticipated new pizza joint at 60 Henry St., is now open …

The folks who bring you live band karaoke at Magnetic Field are looking for a new drummer. …

Downtown Brooklyn’s most litter-strewn streets will finally get swept, thanks to the creation of the Court–Livingston–Schermerhorn Business Improvement District last week.

Homer Fink is publisher of Brooklyn Heights Blog. The Brooklyn Paper is not affiliated with Brooklyn Heights Blog.
Updated 4:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

StopPermitAbuse-call 311 from Lower Manhattan says:
Excellent article.
Permits are a plague in Downtown Manhattan also. All three community boards have passed resolutions about illegal parking recently. Community Boards 2 and 3 have requested permanent No Permit Parking signs from the D.O.T. The local precinct in Chinatown has also requested permanent No Permit Parkings signs - this request has not been honored yet, but it's a great start toward reeducation of the government sector. Most of lower Manhattan below Canal Street is in a Dept of Transportation "NO PERMIT AREA", and this is also true of much of downtown Brooklyn - Go ahead, call the D.O.T.: Special Category Permits tel. no. 718 433-3155. 311 complaints go right to the local precinct, as a Quality of Life Complaint, and it is very important to document posted sign parking violations by permit abusers your neighborhoods. Last week in Chinatown, cars with NYPD permits were towed for two days in a row by NYPD tow trucks. Please cut and paste this link --
Dec. 7, 2007, 12:54 am
ManhattanDowntowner from LowerManhattan says:
Update on above. In Chinatown, cars with NYPD permits were towed by NYPD tow trucks on at least THREE days last week, starting Tues. 12/4/2007. This is a direct result of many 311 complaints. Mind you, these 311 parking permit abuse complaint calls have been going on for a couple years, but now we are starting to get results, and we're starting to get our streets back. When you call 311 to make a permit abuse complaint there are three things to mention:
1) You're calling about "Illegal Parking" and "Posted Sign Violations". This will shorten the call, otherwise the operator will have to search for the proper form to fill.
2) The cars are parked in a No Permit Area (most of downtown Brooklyn). Make sure that "No Permit Area" is mentioned in the report. Parking in a No Permit Area illegally is a felony crime - this is stated on the back of the parking permit.
3) This is a chronic problem.
Dec. 9, 2007, 4:04 pm
ManhattanDowntowner from LowerManhattan says:
Community Boards 2 and 3, which cover much of lower Manhattan, have unanimously passed resolutions requesting No Permit Parking signs from the Dept of Transportation. The local precinct in Chinatown has also requested the posting of No Permit Parking signs from the D.O.T. Community Board 1 in lower Manhattan is currently in discussion about asking for No Permit Parking signs also.

Chinatown has paper No Permit Parking signs since Spring 2007. Since these signs were posted, parking permit abuse in this D.O.T. designated No Permit Area has been reduced by about 80%. Businesses can now operate better, taking deliveries, and local citizens can park and drop people with a bit more ease. Overall, the quality of life is greatly improved with significantly reduced parking permit abuse. However, 311 Complaint calls about "illegal parking" and "posted sign violations" still occur on a regular basis.

Downtown Brooklyn is in a No Permit Area and would benefit greatly from No Permit Parkings signs also. Maybe the community there could also ask the D.O.T. for these signs.
Dec. 12, 2007, 5:10 pm

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