The Parks Department has wisely moved to stop a dozen judges from parking their cars in Columbus Park next to Borough Hall and the state Supreme Court building.
This intolerable situation — judges parking their private vehicles on a pedestrian walkway in a city park — has gone on far too long. Even as Columbus Park has been spruced up, at great expense, the judges have been allowed to continue to commandeer not only clearly designated parkland, but the much-needed public walkway next to it.
Now the judges are threatening to sue the city to retain that privilege.
Imagine: Judges suing the city. To retain parking spaces that they never should have been given in the first place. Someone needs to step in right now and remind the judges of two of their favorite words: “Case dismissed!”
The threat of a lawsuit is not without some irony; it’s absurd for judges — who are public servants, we remind you — to sue the city that pays them.
And it’s not as if the judges won’t still get their free parking; the city has already promised them space in a garage just two blocks from their current digs.
Given how much anger the public has for public servants who get city-issued parking passes or “on-duty” placards that let them park wherever the hell they want, it’s amazing that the judges have any support for their cause.
“You can characterize this as judges whining about privileges — or you can take a step back, recall the kind of world we live in now, and consider the kind of danger they’re being asked to endure,” said Councilman Fidler in defense of the judges.
“Danger”? Walking two blocks from their new free parking lot instead of a half-block from their old free parking lot? And how, pray tell, is the world we live in now more dangerous than the world of the 1970s or even the 1870s?
And with all due respect to Councilman Fidler, no judge is “being asked to endure” anything. These judges sought these elective offices themselves.
We suggest that if the judges are afraid to walk the streets of their city, they should consider a new line of work.
Then again, if they’re merely upset about losing their free parking, they have another viable choice: they can ride the subway or bus with the rest of us.