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.”