Carmageddon! Ridge dealerships block sidewalks with cars

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bay Ridgites are furious that a handful of car dealerships along Fourth and Fifth avenues are breaking the law by parking their inventory on the sidewalk, blocking the path of pedestrians and forcing people in wheelchairs to roll into oncoming traffic.

Neighbors and community board members said there has been an uptick in complaints about the aggressive parking in recent months — especially along 89th Street — which has been a problem for years.

“I don’t even go down there anymore because I’m forced to go in the street,” said Jean Ryan, a wheelchair confined Ridgite who says she’s fed up with dealerships parking shiny new cars in the sidewalk. “Sidewalks are public; they’re not for certain people to park in.”

Some residents say there are too many dealers on the strip to begin with — but they cited Giuffre Hyundai on Fifth Avenue between 89th and 90th streets as the biggest traffic-clogging culprit.

“You have a bumper crop of car dealerships, and it’s not an ideal location for them,” said CB10 Chairwoman Joanne Seminara. “[Giuffre] double-parks cars for sale on 89th Street. Emergency vehicles are unable to get through there — and it’s on a school block.”

The manager at Giuffre Hyundai did not return a call for comment, and an employee there called the cops when our photographer exercised her right to take photos of the parking situation.

The manager of the nearby Bay Ridge Honda — which also had cars blocking the Fourth Avenue sidewalk between 88th and 89th streets last Thursday — denied his dealership uses the sidewalk as a showroom.

“We don’t display cars there. That’s not our property,” said Robert Sabbagh. “If it happened [on Thursday] it’s news to me.”

Sabbagh did admit that employees occasionally park cars on the sidewalk while moving them because space is tight.

“It’s like a Rubik’s Cube. If you pull car out, you have to move five,” he said.

Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) said he is working with the 68th Precinct to “crack down on this situation once and for all.”

But residents say it’s been going on far too long — and they don’t understand why cops can’t do something about the scofflaws.

“It seems to be pretty low priority for the cops,” said Ryan. “I wonder why this situation is allowed to continue.”

Capt. Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, did not respond to messages requesting comment.

On the plus side, car dealers provide an average of 79 jobs per dealership and are one of the few well-paying jobs in many neighborhoods, said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. Entry-level mechanics make about $35,000 a year and master mechanics can earn $100,000. Clerical positions generally pay between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.

“Car dealerships are a significant part of the economy here in Bay Ridge,” said Pat Condren, executive director of the 86th Street Business Improvement District, who estimates that car sales and service represents the fourth largest industry in the area, behind the Army, health care services, and retail.

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

s from slope says:
Damn bike lanes.
Sept. 29, 2011, 6:38 am
mike from GP says:
I don't understand why these car zealouts can never follow the rules.
Sept. 29, 2011, 6:55 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
@mike from GP
I agree 100%. Why can't they stay off the sidewalk?!! These selfish jerks need to be licensed!!
Sept. 29, 2011, 8:25 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantvill, NY says:
We should not build any more car lanes until drivers learn to respect pedestrians and learn the rules of the road. The problem with car lanes is that they are never used correctly by anyone.
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:04 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
The car dealers were here first so bug off you gentrifiers!
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:10 am
Paul from Clinton Hill says:
Sorry Joey you can aford to live in Brooklyn anymore. Try Jersey!
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:20 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville says:
That could not have been my comment posted at 12:04 pm because I was not at my computer. I would have been, but some selfish jerks has parked their cars on the sidewalk, and it took me longer than usual to get to my car. I'm not that upset, though, because if the cars are parked on the sidewalk, it prevents bikers who never obey the rules from riding on them.
Sept. 29, 2011, 11:57 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Readers, please note this comment:

"The manager at Giuffre Hyundai did not return a call for comment, and an employee there called the cops when our photographer exercised her right to take photos of the parking situation."

These guys are slime.
Sept. 29, 2011, 1:09 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
If the dealerships are "...breaking the law..." then they should be fined/ticketed; the city can milk this cash cow until the dealers change their ways.

The city gets the cash, pedestrians get their sidewalks back and the dealerships learn to be good neighbors when they park their inventory appropriately.
Sept. 29, 2011, 2:33 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I see no reason not to walk over a car that is parked on the sidewalk.
Sept. 29, 2011, 4:02 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Especially if it belongs to a business that is using public land for storing it's inventory.
Sept. 29, 2011, 4:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How interesting that there are comments that are believed to be me when I wasn't even done with my work until 3 PM, so that is obviously not me. Anyway, I do find it wrong that the dealerships are putting their cars on the sidewalks when they shouldn't be. They should try to get better showrooms with more space in them so that they can store them better.
Sept. 29, 2011, 6:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I was not home from work until 8 PM so that is obviously not me. Mike, stop it just stop it. You are the imposter.

Ticket these cars to the point where it's not financially viable for the dealers to leave them on the sidewalk anymore and the problem will solved. When a pedestrian is hurt walking around the cars or hit by a car because he's forced into the street, sue the dealers so they have no money. Since the police give all the money to local businesses the dealers will have enough money to move to the suburbs where there are big box stores and strip malls that are more appropriate places to display cars.
Sept. 30, 2011, 9:05 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, cut out the impersonations. I have a pretty good idea who is impersonating me, so unless you want to be the target of a lawsuet from my Lawyer, Myron J. Pluitsky, I suggest that you immedeately apologize. I was not even at my computer yesterday or today, b/c my car was stuck at my place of work on account of the miscreants parking their cars on the sidewalk. Second, I was away from my computer this morning at my public libary reading about Ratner's plans to bring the WNBA to Brooklyn. Back to the issue. While I disagree with people parking on the sidewalk, it serves those steetsblogger zealouts right for not obeying traffic laws like the other taxpaying motorists must do. Not all of us can patronnize shops on foot, b/c some of us might be handicapped and thus need to drive everywhere, which is our constitutitional right under the constitutition.
Sept. 30, 2011, 4:09 pm
Tal from Pleasantville, NY says:
Why do I keep posting if I am from Pleasantville, NY
Sept. 30, 2011, 9:02 pm
frank from bay ridge says:
did anybody see the new dealer on 5ave 89st
Oct. 2, 2011, 8:24 pm
frank from bay ridge says:
did anybody see the new dealer on 5th ave and 89th st more cars
Oct. 2, 2011, 8:25 pm
frank from bay ridge says:
they should have made a parking lot out of it
Oct. 2, 2011, 8:27 pm
frank from bay ridge says:
instead of car sales they should have made a parking lot to take cars off the streets
Oct. 2, 2011, 8:29 pm

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