Neighbors: Brooklyn Expo Center cars parked across sidewalks

Neighbors: Brooklyn Expo Center cars parked across sidewalks
That’s an order: Cops put up No Parking signs around the Brooklyn Expo Center during the venue’s weekend events, which motorists often observe by breaking another law, against parking on the sidewalk, neighbors say.
Rolf Carle

Greenpoint’s new convention center is causing parking chaos, as vendors and guests are regularly taking up blocks of sidewalk with their cars, angry neighbors say.

The Brooklyn Expo Center opened last September at 79 Franklin St., and since then Franklin and Oak have been repeatedly clogged with illegally parked vehicles, which peeved locals say shows a lack of respect by the venue’s management.

“The trouble is starting already,” said Greenpoint gadfly Rolf Carle.

A Brooklyn Expo Center rep acknowledged that event attendees have been parking across the sidewalk, but claimed that it is not the business’s responsibility to stop them.

“It is definitely something we do not want happening,” said manager Michelle McConnell. “It is up to the police to do something about it. [The drivers] did not get any type of ticket or anything for doing it.”

The company now plans to hire more security to stop people from parking across the sidewalk in the future, McConnell said.

Park patrol: Greenpoint activist Rolf Carle is furious about cars parking across the sidewalk outside the Brooklyn Expo Center during events. Here he surveys the scene during the center’s downtime.
Photo by Michah Saperstein

One neighbor worried that the parking problems could endanger disabled people.

“It is hard enough for an able-bodied person to get down these streets. What will someone in a wheelchair do?” Shayla Poppel said. “They should not be allowed to do this.”

The Expo Center’s main event space takes up an area equivalent to six basketball courts, making it the largest such facility in Brooklyn, and a separate five-story building next door is still under construction.

McConnell said the center is set to expand further and possibly add a performing-arts venue.

The Brooklyn Expo Center is among the latest projects of controversial development mogul Joshua Guttman. Guttman’s waterfront Greenpoint Terminal Market mysteriously burned to the ground nearly a decade ago, and the creation of the convention complex caught still-suspicious area residents by surprise.

The NYPD did not return requests for comment.

Side-eye: Brooklyn Expo Center patrons parking willy-nilly across the sidewalk.
Rolf Carle

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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