Residents led the discussion at the 63rd Precinct Sector C Build the Block Meeting, held at Congregation Beit Hillel of Flatlands, at 2164 Ralph Avenue in Georgetown, on March 30th.
Many complaints coming out of Sector Charlie — which encompasses Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin and Georgetown — centered around parking issues. Many warnings from the Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), Felicia Grant and Jonathon Perez, also related to cars.
One of the major complaints was about double and triple-parked cars outside of Salvation Church of God, located at the corner of Avenue N and East 56th Street. During Tuesday night and Sunday morning services, parishioners double-park all along Avenue N and on the residential side streets, blocking crosswalks, driveways and fire hydrants.
It makes it impossible to drive down the block during those hours, hard for pedestrians to cross the street, blocks legally-parked cars and reduces business for the family-owned shops down the street.
“It’s ridiculous,” Palermo Pastry Shop owner Josephine said. “I’ve been telling a lot of the other officers if they keep coming on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights, maybe they’ll begin to learn their lessons if they get a few tickets.”
Unfortunately, the NCOs don’t work on Sundays, so they’re unable to come out and ticket the cars themselves.
Another complaint was that one attendee’s neighbor fixes cars out of his house, taking up parking spots and affecting traffic. The man has clients park their cars on the street near his home but does the actual mechanical work out of his driveway. Since the driveway is private property, he can’t be ticketed, unless he also fixes cars on the street.
On a different street, another attendee complained about a neighbor keeping a dumpster on the street, which takes up a parking spot and affects the image of the neighborhood. That neighbor has been renewing his permit to keep the dumpster there, but doesn’t empty it, allowing trash to collect. He also doesn’t have wood blocks underneath the wheels, which is legally required as the wheels can damage the concrete.
The NCOs brought up the ongoing issue of abandoned cars. To enter the abandoned cars onto the master list that Grant keeps and gives to the tow companies, she said residents should email her a list of the car’s location, including its make, model and plate number.
There will be a towing operation on April 19th for abandoned vehicles in the area. Last month’s towing operation for the 63rd Precinct resulted in 34 cars being removed.
The city has contracts with only three towing companies. There are only around three to four heavy tow trucks being used by the NYPD across the entire city, which means they can’t come to the community whenever a resident reports a car. This is why Grant keeps a long list to submit before each tow.
Officers also mentioned catalytic converter and bicycle etching. The precinct offers etching so converters and bikes become trackable if they get stolen. Mill Basin Civic Association President Paul Curiale asked if Officer Timi Tomacruz, who does the etchings, could present at the civic’s April 18th meeting and etch bikes for attendees who bring them. People planning to attend that meeting should consider bringing their bicycles to get etched.