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Bath Beach Store Owners Complain of Police Parking Illegally, Using All Available Spots

Police parking endangering neighborhood, hurting business, neighbors say

Brooklyn Daily

Call ’em cop blockers.

Every week, platoons of off-duty cops descend on Bath Avenue, illegally parking their civilian cars blocking bus stops and fire hydrants and destroying local business — all while the city does nothing — say neighbors.

Store owners between 18th Avenue and Bay 20th in Bensonhurst complain that cops in street clothes have arrived every Wednesday morning at 9 am for the past two months. The officers park their personal cars — each with an NYPD Restricted Parking placard in the window — all along the block without regard for parking laws. Then they pile into a nearby building en masse and don’t leave until 2 pm.

“If we ever parked at a bus stop or a hydrant, we’d get ticketed in a second,” said Tom Prince, owner of Christy Industries at the corner of Bay 19th Street. “How is it that they’re allowed to park wherever they want?”

Prince argued that the cops’ habits are endangering the welfare of the entire community.

“People with carriages and old people have to walk through the cars to get the bus, you should see it,” Prince said. “And what if there was a fire and the truck couldn’t get to the hydrant?”

Other store owners said the cops are monopolizing all available spaces is hurting their profits.

“Since morning ‘til 2 pm, no one can park. I come to work and I can’t park my car. My customers can’t park,” said Alex Geb, owner of Bath Avenue Hardware at the corner of 18th Avenue.

Geb isn’t the only one hurting.

“Customers are spinning around for 40, 50 minutes, then they say they go back home because there’s no parking,” said Arthur Leviy of Style By Johnny Barbershop next door.

The store owners said that repeated calls to 311 yielded no results.

On Aug. 7, when dozens of vehicles with NYPD Restricted Parking placards lined ‘No Parking’ areas, Prince again dialed 311, but no traffic enforcement agent responded.

A police department spokesman confirmed that Restricted Parking plates do not allow vehicles to block bus stops or fireplugs.

“No, they shouldn’t be doing that,” the spokesman said.

One of the officers on the scene said that the cops were all attending a course for the sergeant examination — and defended the parking practices as harmless.

“It’s one day a week, just a couple hours, it’s not bad,” said the officer, who declined to give his name.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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Reader Feedback

Jason from NYC says:
It is NOT harmless. It is explicitly illegal. The NYS legislature debated the issues and enacted laws that specifically require law enforcement to obey ALL traffic regulations except when engaged in "emergency operations." That was the informed decision of our democractic process. There is no possible interpretation that these guys are engaged in an emergency operation; they just believe they don't have to repect our democratic process. They think they're above the law. I saw tow their cars immediately and arrest them for deriliction of duty. They are sworn to protect the laws, not band together as a bunch of self-serving thugs!
Aug. 12, 2013, 9:24 am
KillMoto from Elsewhere says:
Ninja rocks...
Aug. 12, 2013, 1:46 pm
nobody cares from Bensonhurst says:
It Happen again this Wednesday. Cars parked at bus stops and Fire hydrants with Police signs in civilian cars and nothing was done. The 62 Pct totally ignored complaints by store owners in the area. If your a cop your ABOVE THE LAW. This is disgusting and should not be tolerated.
Aug. 14, 2013, 1:03 pm
S from Brooklyn says:
Can I drive my car to where these officers live and park my car in front of their driveways for a little bit? After all, "It’s one day a week, just a couple hours, it’s not bad."
Aug. 15, 2013, 4:36 pm
jacqui from Harlem says:
The exact thing happens in the precincts in Harlem. You have to step into the streets to get by. In particular, on 146th St between St. Nicholas Ave and Convent Ave a cop parks his car by the hydrant and leaves it there and go to work, repeatedly. Traffic enforcement drives around and see his car as the only illegally parked car and do nothing. Others park in the pedestrian walkway on St. Nicholas Avenue and 146th Street, and/or do not move their cars to obey alternate side parking rules on a daily basis. Most startling, Mercedes Benz uses a placard from outside of NYC to park while the owner goes to work in his pharmacy on St. Nicholas Ave. He is neither ticketed or towed for the abuse. Even correction officers have joined the fray. They all believe that they are above the law. And, traffic enforcement are afraid to enforce the law.
Aug. 29, 2013, 2:04 pm
the watcher from Queens Village says:
car with lic plate EPH7799 uses hydrant in front of 87 30
204 St as his personal parking spot while displaying
NYPD parking placid. Calls to 311 and Traffic provided
no results.
Sept. 15, 2013, 11:40 pm

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