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Still posting up: USPS workers keep using placards to illegally park on Slope streets, despite agency’s pledge to revoke them

Fed up: A vandal decorated this postal van on Eighth Street, apparently in response to illegal parking on the part of postal workers.
Brooklyn Paper
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Postal workers continue to use residential Park Slope streets as parking lots for both their work and personal vehicles, according to residents, who said the federal employees use placards to park illegally even after an agency rep told this newspaper that those placards would be revoked.

Last July, United States Postal Service rep Xavier Hernandez said placards would be revoked from employees at the Ninth Street Post Office, after a report by this newspaper exposed workers’ penchant for using them to bogart parking in the area.

But on Tuesday, this reporter saw a non-agency vehicle bearing a placard parked at a metered spot on Ninth Street, before spotting another non-agency vehicle equipped with a Postal Service–issued placard blocking the driveway of an Eighth Street home between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, behind the Ninth Street Post Office.

And that block of Eighth Street is overrun by vehicles using the postal placards to park illegally, which often block fire hydrants and street sweepers, according to a resident.

“It’s terrible that people have to live like this. These are their homes, people should be able to come home and be at peace,” said Lorrainne Pizzirusso. “Nobody’s at peace on this block.”

But congestion isn’t the only issue on the block. Another resident accused the postal workers of regularly using placards or other agency paraphernalia to flout alternate-side parking rules, preventing the city from routinely cleaning the street, and allowing rats to nest in the debris that’s built up along its curbs as a result.

“The whole block is really dirty now and disgusting,” said Wendy Hoey, who has lived on Eighth Street for 10 years, and claimed her garden is now lousy with vermin. “It’s not the nice block it used to be.”

The parking nightmare only gets worse when the postal employees clock out at the end of the day, because they use their agency trucks to hold spots until they return to work the next morning, according to the residents.

One Eighth Streeter said the workers will even collaborate to hijack parking, claiming she recently tried to nab a spot after noticing a postal employee pull out if it, but that the worker blocked her car with his and flagged down some colleagues, who quickly pulled their truck into the patch of pavement.

“They went inside and rallied people to get three trucks and pushed me out,” said Maureen German.

The parking issue is so heated that some vandal recently scrawled “No Parking on 8th St” in red spray paint across the side of a postal van — an act of vandalism that Pizzirusso said could spark even uglier retaliatory efforts.

“If there’s going to be violence, I don’t want to get involved in that,” she said. “I’m a peaceful person. I’m an old lady now.”

Hernandez refused to say if Postal Service executives followed through with seizing the placards when asked about the latest incidents, instead claiming the placards remain in use “to facilitate postal business.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Safety hazard: Eighth Street residents claim postal workers routinely block fire hydrants on their block in Park Slope.
Updated 6:01 pm, January 31, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Me from Park Slope says:
Has anyone ever gotten arrested for defacing Federal property or does that only happen in the hood?
Feb. 1, 10:22 am
readytomoveaway from Lefferts Gardens says:
It won’t change because that’s impossible without infrastructure and housing. Until public transportation becomes non-awful, Brooklyn will be totally car addicted. All our neighbors go everywhere by car. It’s like they’re living in suburban Long Island, not the city. And who can blame them when it’s impossible to get from the Flatbush neighborhoods to the other side of the park using only bus or train without walking a mile outdoors. Second problem, the city is so unaffordable to anybody but the rich, especially Park Slope, postal workers, teachers, cops, firemen, they all live outside the city and so they drive in to work. Residents of Park Slope shouldn’t complain about these very necessary workers using up street parking when they oppose building affordable housing in their own neighborhoods. NIMBYs can’t have it both ways.
Feb. 1, 10:30 am
Benny from Park Slope says:
USPS employees acting like entitled, callous, self-involved a-holes? I am shocked. SHOCKED! Far be it from me to suggest or condone vandalizing property, but some slashed tires and a few windshields completely covered in lovely paint might get the message across.
Feb. 1, 10:35 am
Benny from Park Slope says:
readytomoveaway, your point about the horrible lack of quality public transportation is a solid one. But tell that to the people on 8th Street who have to deal with their home values plummeting, vermin overrunning their stoops, and cranky "public servants" destroying their peace of mind.
Feb. 1, 10:38 am
8thStreetDad from Park Slope says:
Thank you Brooklyn Paper for this accurate and timely reporting. The USPS station and its associated vehicles (both trucks and employee cars) have essentially taken over this residential block. It's a huge problem that has gradually escalated on the block for the past several years, and nobody seems to be willing to take accountability.
Feb. 1, 11:21 am
Don't Threaten, Terminate from Park Slope says:
Dont't threaten them, terminate them. When they improperly use government tags, and government trucks for personal purposes (holding spaces for their personal cars), it's a terminating act and a federal fraud/violation. Further, when doing this personal act while on company time/government time, it's stealing time and frauding the government - another terminating act. And if the supervisors are not taking action to terminate these individuals, they are knowingly permitting government fraud and should be held accountable to a higher degree than the workers. To think that USPS is subsidized by taxes, and these public parking spots are being blocked from/taken away from the very people paying the taxes is a disgrace.
Feb. 1, 11:31 am
Robert Rico from Flatbush says:
First of all you can contact the OIG to investigate that specific station about the employees who are on the clock by not doing their job description duties but instead getting paid by that stations management to secure parking space for co-workers. This is not part of their job description. Also this practice by these specific employees is also a safety matter that would make that specific station and management 100 percent liable for any injury to anyone. Also you might want to contact OSHA with this matter as a safety violation not a parking issue.
Feb. 1, 1:33 pm
Robert Rico from Flatbush says:
Also using postal vehicles for anything other than daily postal duties is a violation of postal regulations a am 100 percent sure those trucks have spots in back of the station, but are parked on the street for the purpose to to hold spots.
Feb. 1, 1:45 pm
Me from Park Slope says:
Perhaps less citibike stations will help alleviate the parking problem. Everyone has a right to own a car until the law says it’s illegal.
Feb. 1, 1:51 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Anyone that refers to parking a vehicle as stealing needs a long vacation at Bellevue. You become just another loon howling at the moon at that moment.
Feb. 1, 3:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I do agree that placard abuse needs to be stopped in all departments and agencies. Having a placard doesn't mean that they can park wherever they please. They are supposed to park in areas that are designated for them and nowhere else. There have been stories of photo copied placards given to friends and families who aren't supposed to have them in the first place let alone use government issued vehicles. Also, there have been cases where those using such placards didn't even match their vehicles registration are license plate numbers yet they still got away with that. This is the very reason why I have been against residential parking permits in any part of NYC, because I feel that they will just get abused just like the placards.
Feb. 1, 3:56 pm
MJ from Park Slope says:
The postal service is damaging the viability of local businesses by blocking their deliveries and eliminating customer parking. They are blocking visibility for kids attending the elememtary school on the block putting them in risk of getting hit by a car, and taking dozens of spots that residents and school teachers need on the street. There is a dedicated parking lot for these trucks that instead is being used for personal parking.
Feb. 1, 10:33 pm
Don't Threaten, Terminate from Park Slope says:
To Mr. H.Ford (above): your trying to justify an abusive, illegal act of stealing time and unauthorized use of government permits and vehicles. And worse yet, you call those that point it out "loons" in a further attempt to humiliate and silence them. By my calling you out on it, I want you to know you've failed at your attempt. Further, I'd guess your even one of those USPS workers abusing the system, and if not, abusing something or someone as it's clearly your nature. As long as there are people like you, the rest of us will have to pay the price.
Feb. 2, 11:15 am
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
Terminate - you really need a bran muffin
Feb. 2, 11:28 am
IAMRIGHTAGAIN from ALL5BOROS says:
To the person that took the video. You need a brain. No congestion on the street folks were parking. Why don't you just get on your Citi Bike and pedal away.
Feb. 2, 1:08 pm
Mr Usps from Brownsville says:
People complaining about Usps parking on 8th street blah blah blah it’s only a big deal because it’s a white neighborhood look at other neighborhoods I seen Usps parked all over the place and have never been harassed as the employees on 9th they banned them from parking on 9th st now they wanna stop them from parking on 8th st but at the end of the day it is free public parking and Usps should be able to park and hold a spot as other residents do without be harassed
Feb. 2, 5:42 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
I’d guess that “Terminate” is the person that Tax Payer Citizen is referring to. Enjoy paying that imaginary price that a vehicle parked on the street is costing you.
Feb. 2, 8:10 pm
X from Y says:
USPS is not funded by tax dollars
Feb. 3, 7:39 am
Don't Threaten, Terminate from Park Slope says:
This comment exchange demonstrates the low character of the USPS workers in question. Not only do they burden and disgrace the neighborhood by taking what would otherwise be residents parking while filling it with these ugly and visually obstructing trucks, but now they attack the residents for exposing them and trying to rectify the problem. It's degrading to the civility and moral fiber of the community. Those USPS responsible are like a growing cancer that needs to be eradicated, here and everywhere. Uncle Sam, let the terminations begin!
Feb. 3, 11:36 am
Park Slope Resident says:
First of, from my understanding it’s not the employees fault, the parking lot can only hold about 10 trucks, the other 15 trucks or more has to be park on the street, unless they find a parking lot for the remaining 15 plus trucks 8 street is there parking lot, it’s bigger than those employees. I personally know a lot of those carriers and drivers, hard working good people, put yourself in those employees shoes. Smh.
Feb. 3, 4:09 pm
11215 Mail Carrier from Park slope says:
Wow.......”they burden and disgrace the neighborhood by taking what would otherwise be residents parking while filling it with these ugly and visually obstructing trucks”. If residents are okay with teachers with NJ Plates parking on the block they will have to deal with us parking there as well. We provided a service to the community just like the teachers do whether they see it that way or not and, these postal vehicles are merely tools entrusted to us to provide that service and spraying them with red paint doesn’t make them any more attractive. The VAN BRUNT post office was not initially designed to house so many trucks and this is all because of the sharp rise in parcel volume that is delivered from that station that has lead to additional vehicles added to our fleet. They can’t all be parked inside the PO lot so that leaves us no other choice but to park them in the street. It’s not something we are doing out of spite to deprive residents of parking, it’s just and unintended consequence that these 8th Strret NIMBIES who have been born into a life of unmitigated privilege will have to deal with no matter how upset they are about it.
Feb. 3, 7:21 pm
Del Boy Trotter from Clapham says:
Reading through the comments, those posters that are attacking the residents of 8th Street seem to be obfuscating the issue at hand. Of course no one “owns” these spaces on 8th Street, and USPS employees have as much right to park in an open space as anyone else. However, taking the spaces out of circulation by preventing itinerant drivers from parking there by holding the spaces with the (illegal) overnight parking of commercial, federally-owned vehicles on a residential block is just not fair play. Moreover, the lack of parking spaces is very much a secondary issue, of far lesser concern than the overnight parking of the commercial trucks themselves - especially next to one another. They are creating unsafe "street walls," which are allowing people to hide and engage in illegal activity out of sight of the block (using drugs, public urination, etc.). In addition, the trucks are not moved in a timely fashion for street cleaning periods, which is contributing to the increased filithiness of this block.
Feb. 3, 9:11 pm
11215 Mail Carrier from Park Slope says:
Del Boy Trotter Kindly cite the law that states that the overnight parking of federally owned commercial trucks on the street is ilegal. Nobody is trying to obfuscate the real issue at hand. There is no other place to park them, period. We have to resort to parking them in the streets. This is our only solution until a larger building is provided with a parking lot that can house all of the vehicles. If I live far away from park slope where parking is extremely limited and have to drive to work, why would I remove the postal vehicle and waste time and fuel searching for another spot when I can simply park in place of the truck. Residents feeling that is unfair is understandable but it isn’t illegal no matter how you try to frame it. Postal employees don’t have a voice, but it seems as though the voices of privileged/wealthy people are always heard. So maybe now something will actually be done.
Feb. 4, 6:56 am
USPS says:
At Brooklyn paper why didn't you show the picture of them spray paint our vehicles with Don't park on 8 st ——,and all the other racist remarks. We have all the pics if u would like,but then again u won't show it because of the backlash u would get of this nice wonderful neighborhood.
Feb. 4, 10:30 am
11215 Mail Carrier from Park Slope says:
Del Boy Trotter Kindly cite the law that states that the overnight parking of federally owned postal trucks on the street is ilegal. These are not privately owned commercial vehicles. Nobody is trying to obfuscate the real issue at hand. There is no other place to park them..... PERIOD. Simply expecting to just somehow figure it out so long as we do it without parking on 8th Street isn’t reasonable or realistic. We have to resort to parking them in the streets. If the truck is parked in a spot that doesn’t violate alternate side parking regulations for that particular day, you honestly expect us to forgoe the spot for a local resident and spend additional time and fuel searching for another spot. Please!!! We’d love to work at a facility that allows to enjoy exclusive parking privileges but until this happens the residents on 8th street will simply have to deal with it.
Feb. 4, 11:12 am
Can't we all just get along? from Park Slope says:
The community on 8th Street has no problem with postal employees parking their personal vehicles on the block. The problem is the postal trucks that are a safety issue. All legal spots on any NYC street should be fair game for anyone pulling out for another car to pull in. The lack of postal truck parking needs to be addressed by USPS. Why do so many postal trucks need to be parked on one block to remedy the USPS problem? Why not park one postal truck on each of the surrounding blocks so the burden is spread around and the safety issue is lessened? The community of 8th Street wants to feel safe and we want the postal employees to have their needs met so that they may perform their jobs.
Feb. 4, 11:23 am
Del Boy Trotter from Clapham says:
The applicable regulation is Section 4-08 (k) (6) of the Traffic Rules of the City of New York (Title 34, Chapter 4) - which prohibits overnight parking of commercial vehicles on a residential street, without distinction as to whether it is a public or privately owned vehicle. Since the USPS trucks do not have license plates that can be duly cited, they are able to park overnight without consequence from the City.
Feb. 4, 12:09 pm
Mark Corrigan from Croydon says:
I appreciate that some are trying to frame the problem as an "us vs. them" issue, but that really couldn't be further from the truth. The use of scarce parking spaces by post office employees is not the primary issue for the residents of the block - it's the unsafe conditions that result from multiple large commercial vehicles being parked overnight. As another poster mentioned, the most equitable solution would be to spread the on-street parking around through the surrounding blocks, so that there was perhaps only one truck parked overnight on a single block at any time.
Feb. 4, 12:18 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It's not the use of placards itself that I'm against, it's the way they are being abused. The point is that they were meant to only park in certain areas the individual placard was meant for. However, it doesn't mean that they can park where they please and feel unhindered. I can understand if where they park is just to drop of certain packages and other parcel, but not if they are just leaving their vehicle there for a long time. BTW, it's illegal to use government vehicles at any level for personal use, and I know this from a number of police officers who use the police cars even when they aren't on duty. As for spreading parking spaces, this will never have the support of Transportation Alternatives, who is known for having an anti-car bias and loves giving anyone who drives the royal screw job on a regular basis.
Feb. 4, 12:48 pm
11215 Mail Carrier from Park Slope says:
This regulation isn’t applicable at all. The vehicles our government owned and are regulated by government regulations that supersede the aforementioned local city regulation. They are not registered with the NYC motor vehicles department like the vehicles referred to in the regulation. If you can’t call the police to cite a parking violation or tow them away it’s because the laws are not enforceable. That’s the distinction independent of your personal feelings whether even if not explicitly mentioned in your referenced regulation. Naturally you, or anyone else for that matter isn’t going to like this but until there’s a more viable alternative for this problem on eighth street they will remain every opportunity available.
Feb. 4, 2:22 pm
Concerned Mother from Gowanus says:
Leaving truck doors open and blocking fire hydrants for days on end is of the utmost concern. It’s disrespectful to the fire department and a major concern for the families with small children on the block. Have some respect for human life please don’t block the hydrants.
Feb. 4, 11:49 pm
Frank from Fort Greene says:
USPS vehicles are not commercial vehicles and are property of the federal govt. The idiot that spray painted that truck should have some respect for govt. property hopefully they will get arrested for such a foolish act. What example are you sending the 'children' in that area ?
Feb. 5, 9:03 am
Mike from Bay RIdge says:
They do this in Bay Ridge at 88th street & 5th Av office as well. Take up meters all day long. They don't even bother with placards, they cut a PO box up and display it in window. Meters go all day with out being fed and people going to stores and medical offices around there have to park further away. Brannon? Guess we'll hear crickets on this one too.
Feb. 15, 10:26 pm

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