Dyker Heights civic leaders are outraged by the constant barrage of illegally parked 18-wheelers that line the streets around the neighborhood’s golf course, blocking out the sunlight and intimidating passersby.
“They are just left out there for days and days,” said local community board chair Josephine Beckmann, who noted that the two-mile perimeter of the golf course is a popular running spot. “We’ve heard from many women who are afraid because they make it dark.”
Locals claim that truck companies and RV owners have used the area as a dumping ground for decades, flouting Department of Transportation regulations that bar RVs from parking for over 24 continuous hours. Similarly, city laws prohibit overnight parking for commercial vehicles and completely forbid tractor-trailers from parking on residential streets — like those that surround Dyker’s golf course.
According to the area’s local councilman, the local police precinct lacks the resources to regularly tow the vehicles — and the meager $35 fines for RVs, $65 for commercial vehicles, and $265 for tractor-trailers don’t deter truck drivers from lining the sidewalk.
“Once a month the NYPD will do a sweep, and they’re back there the next day,” said Justin Brannan (D—Dyker Heights).
The illegally parked trucks don’t only create an intimidating environment — they also pose a safety concern for families traveling to Dyker Playground at 86th Street and 14th Avenue, and for children walking around PS 229 and Poly Prep Country Day School, which border the golf course, according to Beckmann.
“Crossing becomes difficult, visibility becomes difficult,” said Beckmann.
Brannan argues that increasing police surveillance will waste the precinct’s limited resources, and claims that he’s been working with transit and sanitation authorities to find alternative solutions — such as raising the parking fines, putting up more signage, or changing the street cleaning time to midnight, so that trucks caught parking overnight will be subject to additional alternate-side-parking violations.
“We’re trying to get creative and explore solutions,” Brannan said.