100th Precinct Tackles Parking Problems


 Parking issues took center stage of the 100th Precinct Community Council’s latest monthly meeting. On Wednesday, July 29, about 50 people tuned in on Zoom to find out what the 100th Precinct is doing to tackle illegal parking problems around the peninsula.

Council President Kathy Heavey kicked off the meeting with some updates. She said that a memorial will be held for all of those who died from Covid-19, likely at 6 p.m. on August 21, but details are still being worked out. National Night Out Against Crime has been rescheduled for October 5. Heavey explained that it will be a small event this year due to the pandemic.

Lastly, Heavey announced that longtime board member of the Council, Sandy Jones, has retired. “I want to thank Sandy for the many hours of service she’s done for the community,” Heavey said. She then announced that Keisha Cunningham, will assume the role of corresponding secretary. Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato was on hand to swear Cunningham into the position during the meeting.

Pheffer Amato briefly touched upon the parking issues and encouraged people to keep calling 311. “The beaches are busy because there’s nowhere for families to go. But it doesn’t give an excuse to park illegally or make it unsafe, if God forbid there’s an emergency anywhere on the peninsula and hydrants are blocked, or pathways onto the boardwalk are blocked. People are parking in people’s driveways and on the sidewalks, that’s unacceptable,” she said. She also advised that locals abide by parking rules as well. “The more we ask for traffic agents, we cannot control who gets ticketed. I know there was ticketing done at St. Francis this week during Mass, but we’re asking for help, so we all have to abide by the rules. Pull into your driveways, don’t park on white lines, just follow the rules of parking,” Pheffer Amato said.

The meeting then featured special guests Lorraine and Laura Baker, two local educators who spoke about the challenges of teaching virtually during the pandemic.

100th Precinct Captain Louron Hall then addressed the parking issues directly. Before getting into it, he took time to thank the community for the recent wave of support including dropping off meals and goodies to the precinct, the NYPD support plane that has been flying over the beach this summer and the pro-police march that took place last month. “I just want to thank you whole heartedly from the 100th Precinct,” he said.

On parking, Captain Hall made one thing clear: “We’re not going to tolerate illegal parking.” However, he believes the issues will continue. “Until the city opens up in a larger fashion and gives people other options, we’re still going to see this problem.” But the NYPD is doing what it can to send a message. On the weekend of July 25 and 26, Hall says the precinct wrote 270 summonses for illegal parking. The main focus of this was the confusing area along the southside of Shore Front Parkway, where unclear signage and lanes lead many to think it is legal parking. Hall addressed this saying that in a recent email from Community Board 14 to the Department of Transportation, asking the agency to address this issue, the DOT doesn’t see a problem. “It doesn’t appear DOT is going to come out to put lines in that lane to make it known to people who are not from this community that you truly cannot park there,” Hall said. Last weekend, 165 summonses were given in that area alone. Another 75 were given on streets above Beach 116th Street, and another 30 east of Beach 94th Street. Hall said this was done by eight traffic agents, one supervisor and a few other officers assigned to the beach area.

During the prior weekend of July 18 and 19, the precinct gave out 385 summonses. This included 129 along Shore Front, 181 uptown and 75 in other areas. “Parking enforcement has been robust for the previous two weekends and we plan to continue that,” Hall said.

In some instances where cars are blocking emergency areas or driveways last weekend, 38 vehicles were towed.  A few guests, including Liz Hanna, suggested booting cars as a way to send a message that some areas are not meant for parking, as when cars are towed, another comes along to takes its spot. Hall said that he would look into this possibility, but the main goal is to remove vehicles from illegal spots so that they do not block emergency pathways to the beach, but booting is something that could be considered in other areas, such as under Rockaway Freeway.

By Katie McFadden