Rampant double-parking makes Dean Street a mean street, cyclists say

Rampant double-parking makes Dean Street a mean street, cyclists say
Photo by Alfred Ng

Motorists flagrantly break the law by double-parking on Dean Street, say angry cyclists who claim the rampant rule-flaunting puts their lives in peril.

Drivers routinely double-park between Sixth and Carlton avenues, partly blocking traffic and forcing passing motorists on the one-lane street to veer into the bike lane, according to bicyclists.

And it’s not just during alternate-side parking hours, when double-parked motorists tend to get a free pass from traffic enforcement officers — double-parking happens at all hours on Dean Street, according to biker Will Van Zee.

“They have to police over here — the double-parking is dangerous,” said Van Zee, who regularly commutes on the street and claims he broke his collarbone last year when he got “doored” after swerving around a double-parked car. “Cars get frustrated and try to speed past you over maybe a small delay. The worst thing for a motorist is that they’re late to work — but for a cyclist, they could be dead.”

A multi-day Brooklyn Paper investigation confirmed that numerous cars double-park along the block — sometimes forming a long row of vacant vehicles — with no apparent correlation to the street sweeping schedule.

In fact, it seems to be at its worst between around 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, when many parents double-park to watch youth baseball at the Dean Street Playground.

But longtime residents say double-parking extends beyond sports leagues.

Many neighbors claim the roadway gets particularly crowded when parishioners use the traffic lane for parking during church services.

“When church members come, they’ll just double park. It’s just become a habit,” said Vanessa Nailda, a secretary at the Temple of Restoration church. “I’ve been here for 10 years, this street has always been crazy with parking.”

Some drivers who live on Dean Street say double-parking is part of the culture of the block — and it’s necessary because of the lack of available spots nearby.

“There’s almost no spaces here,” said Raul Bernal. “Where are we going to park if we don’t double park?”

Motorists who aren’t accustomed to the street’s strange parking practice say the nearly constant double-parking is a hassle.

“The couple of times I’ve parked here I couldn’t get out because someone was double-parked,” said a construction worker who is working on a project in the neighborhood. “I wouldn’t do that, because I have courtesy for other people.”

Cyclists claim a few traffic tickets would stop the double-parking epidemic.

Police at the 77th Precinct did not return calls for comment — and bike-riders say it may be because they’re part of the problem.

“I see cops double-parked every day,” said Van Zee. “How are they going to police it when they’re the number one people who do it?”

— With Alfred Ng

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.