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Locals fed up with donation boxes taking up parking

Deserted donation: Locals say this donation box — which has sat in the same spot for more than six months and acquired several tickets and a boot — is taking up much-needed parking.
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The city must get rolling and tow away a clothing donation box that’s taking up precious parking space on Quentin Road, locals charge.

“It’s been there in the same exact spot. I’ve never seen anything done, nothing,” said John Luhrs, who lives a few blocks away. “Parking is tough everywhere and this is taking up a valuable parking spot.”

The large, two-wheeled donation trailer for the Chesed Center — a charity whose says it supports Chabad houses — has sat unmoved between Nostrand Avenue and Stuart Street for at least six months, and has accumulated several violations.

The city issued two tickets, one on Aug. 5 and another on Aug. 9 — neither of which were paid — according to the Department of Finance. And another ticket tucked into the door of the two-wheeler shows it was given on May 18.

There’s also a boot locked onto one of its tires, but where it came from remains a mystery — both the police department and the Department of Finance claim it’s not theirs, and suggest it could have been put on by the owner to make sure the donation box stays put.

Up until a few weeks ago, the donation bin was actually hooked up to a van that was taking up yet another parking spot, but someone drove it off without taking the clothing-collection trailer with it, said Luhrs, who would still like to see the whole block freed up.

“The van is gone, my biggest issue was the van, but the clothes box has been there also for about six months taking up valuable parking spot,” he said. “If that could go, that would be great.”

The collection trailer is subject to the same vehicle and traffic laws as any other licensed car is subject to, which means it cannot sit in the same spot on a public street for more than seven days, according to the police department.

But that doesn’t seem to stop scofflaws from leaving them on the street for months at a time. Similar donation boxes have popped up all over the neighborhood, vexing locals looking for parking in highly congested areas, said a local pol. He said believes the good-deed boxes are legitimate —even though he doesn’t know where the collected goods end up — but he doesn’t think they should be given free reign on public streets.

“They’re all over the place, Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbush. I’ve asked police to look into it. I think they are legit — someone, an organization, is investing an awful lot of money in putting all these together. I don’t know what’s happening to the clothing that goes in,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park). “The main question is whether they are supposed to be on the streets — I don’t think they should be there.”

No one returned repeated requests for comment from the number listed on the Quentin Road donation box.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, August 30, 2017
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