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Parking war! Ridgites say city must attack those stealing parking spots

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Bay Ridge’s legendary parking problem is in the crosshairs of residents who say the city needs to punish the people who literally steal the few available spots.

Illegal driveways persist in the neighborhood’s residential areas and illegal valet parking infects its commercial strips, so residents are declaring that it’s time the city starts attacking those that cause the problem, and stop going after those that are victims of it.

To stop illegal curb cuts — where a homeowner adds a driveway to his house without a permit — the city needs to be able to fire back at the offending homeowner.

“The city should have a right to come in and repair it, then [make the homeowner pay] double the cost,” said Steve Harrison, the chair of Community Board 10’s zoning committee. “And if you put one in illegally, and it could have been legal, you then shouldn’t be allowed to put one in at all.”

Presently, the city can only fine the offender, but not force him to undo the damage. Worse, added Harrison, motorists who block the illegal driveways end up with tickets because police don’t know the curb cut shouldn’t be there. In that case, Harrison says the homeowner should be responsible for that ticket — and then some.

“I really believe the homeowner should pay that,” he said. “And maybe double.”

And illegally valet parked cars need to be ticketed as well.

Doris Cruz, the chairwoman of CB10’s transportation committee, thinks that business that use valet parking services are less likely to be ticketed for double-parking, and blocking driveways and fire hydrants than drivers who do the same thing.

“If I come home after 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, one lane is missing because of cars double-parked by valets,” said Cruz, who lives on 99th Street by Fourth Avenue. “They pretty much double park and there is unequal enforcement. A valet parker comes along and blocks your driveway.”

Valet parking services provided by businesses in New York City is illegal unless the business has an off-street parking lot to put the cars.

A solution to this problem may be at hand: when CB10 backed 86th Street department store Century 21’s plans for a new parking garage on 87th Street in 2007, it was on condition that the store make the garage available to restaurants for valet parking in the evenings. Such a move would open up 400 spots — nearly 15 blocks of parking, says Harrison — for other businesses in the area.

This is something the board is now pursuing, said Cruz.

“We are hoping we can work out an arrangement for equitable valet parking in the neighborho­od,” she said.

Whatever proposals the board comes up with are going to take some heavy lifting, members acknowledged. Solutions to illegal driveway problems would likely include legislative changes, which means it would be crafted to conditions across the city, not just in Bay Ridge.

The board is hoping to have its “Parking Fairness Initiative” plan in place by next month, said CB10 Chairwoman Joanne Seminara.

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Reader Feedback

Soledad from Bay Ridge says:
If it is illegal for a business to use valet parking services when they don't have an off street parking lot, I want to know if ALL these restaurants using valet services on Third Ave are being fined for using valet services because most if not all of them do not have offsite parking available to put these cars. These cars are put in our driveways, in fire hydrant spots and bus stops. I've lived in the neighborhood for over 25 years and the CB10 has been discussing this for all that time with nothing having changed.
March 11, 2011, 11:53 am
Ken from Williamsburg says:
In Greenpoint the Polineese Terrace which is a catering hall provide valet parking on the street double parking. The 94 Precinct are aware of this but look the other way. This has been going on for years.
March 13, 2011, 10:56 am
Jason from Bensonhurst says:
Here's another thing to take a charge at... jerks with garages parking on the streets even as much as always hawking out for a spot to take.
March 16, 2011, 10:25 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I agree on stopping the people that are doing this. If they don't have the permit to make a curb cut, then they should not be allowed to do that. I say that when they get asked about this, they must present the permit to prove that it was legal as well as make sure that it's official and not forged. BTW, it's not just curb cuts, there is also the case in parts of the Rockaways where for several months people cannot park there for several months without a permit yet most of those that live there have driveways, and the same goes for Forest Hills Gardens where you can't park at all in the neighborhood with a permit despite all the driveways that are there for the residents, so it's not like they have to worry. This stealing of parking spots on the streets really have to stop. I wonder if anyone ever saw the story on Fox 5 News where there were people who were blocking up parking spots on the streets and charging people to pay for them if they wanted it when they were supposed to get them for free over in Midtown. There was even a similar story of this in Jamaica near the Queens County Courthhouse where those that were part of a parking lot near it where blocking metered spots and offered people $20 in the morning for them while feeding the meters and telling people later in the day that they can only pay up more to use their lot with only cash.
March 16, 2011, 6:29 pm
GregS from BayRidge says:
I have four vehicles parked today(3/21/11)in a one block radius all owned by ONE licensed New Jersey Used Car Dealer who lives hear on 6th Av. His friend, also a licensed N.J.dealer has at least two other cars on the street. PLEASE don't focus solely on hard working homeowners who can take their own car off the street. Focus instead on the hard working but resource-sapping car dealers who do their out-of-state business here in Bay Ridge.
March 21, 2011, 5:42 pm
Brunie from Bayridge says:
I beleive if you park within the white lane that he city created then you are OK! One would think. Well guess what? I got a ticket for what I thought was good parking "within the white line" which is cut off right before a Johnny Pump and a Bus Stop. The ticket was for not 3 feet away from Johnny Pump. Really??? Well then the white line the city created is off . What is one to do? The city is a joke . You spend more taking a day off fighting the ticket then he ticket itself. Then if you lose the fight you end of losing by having to pay the fine and wasting a paid day off in court. What a gimmick! Then the city claims it has no money. Something must be done
March 21, 2013, 8:57 am
Peter Reed from Bay ridge says:
Illegal valets 101 on 4 th ave takes all the parking from 101 st to 100 st on west side of st and double parks and then scrambles up spots on east side of street and then usually when busy they double park a few more cars. This causes so much congestion on 4 the ave. Even club cats parks cars on 4 the ave instead of using there curb section as a valet zone they just park more cars there. I'm so frustrated by this.
Dec. 7, 2013, 11:19 pm

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