It’s a free parking free-for-all.
The city must crack down on a Flatbush Avenue car dealership notoriously known for filling much-needed parking spots on the busy strip with its four-wheelers for sale, demand locals.
“This is really bad because no one can park here, there are some 15 cars that are for sale and are not supposed to be parked in the street,” said Peter, who lives a few blocks away and asked his last name be withheld for fear of retribution. “It’s all the time, twenty-four-seven. If the dealership needs more space, it will have to get a bigger lot, or get less cars.”
Employees at Brooklyn Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram — located at 2286 Flatbush Ave. between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S — park as many as 20 cars on the street at any given time, none of which have license plates, according to the resident, who said the vehicles, which are often double-parked and block a fire hydrant, show a blatant disregard to the local community.
“To park in front of a fire hydrant says you just don’t give a s—,” he said.
A new general manager took over the dealership about seven weeks ago and claimed he is working to fix the problem, saying that tackling the problem of double-parking on the road, which is known to be a dangerous speedway, is an immediate focus.
“I’m aware of all the complaints and we’re making significant changes to stop it,” said Jeff Berlant. “Everything is really trial and error on Flatbush Avenue because it’s really busy, a lot of people fly up and down this street. My first concern is the double-parked vehicles.”
But lax parking habits of workers at a nearby Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus depot on Fillmore Avenue between E. 49th Street and Utica Avenue — a block away from the dealership — complicate the issue, according to Berlant. The employees will often display their orange, city-provided vests in their cars’ front windows in an attempt to snag a spot illegally, he said. And the second as he moves one of his own cars, a worker will swoop in to take the spot, the general manager said.
“As soon as we move a car, a bus depot employee will park his or her car there, or park city vehicles there — swapping vehicles and creating the same problem,” Berlant said. “I’ll fix what I can fix, and then go across the street and work with the MTA.”
Authorities at the neighborhood’s 63rd Precinct are aware of the issue and plan to put traffic agents outside the dealership over the next few days to monitor the problem, according to a community-affairs officer at the precinct, who said cops won’t have a problem towing away its inventory if employees continue to flout laws everyone else must follow.
“If they are parking cars with no license plates, we are going to tow them. It’s illegal to have cars on the street like that — no one should hog all the spots on one block,” said Thomas Podd. “We’ll probably have a traffic guy there for a while, just making sure they stick to their agreements.”
And a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said the agency warned workers to follow the rules, too.
“We have reminded employees once again to adhere to all parking rules and regulations that are enforced by the NYPD,” said Kevin Ortiz.