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Cops towing trucks to get truckers to toe the line

The Brooklyn Paper
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Police towed two illegally parked commercial vehicles — a bus and a truck — from Seventh Avenue last Thursday night, stepping up enforcement along the strip where trucks and buses routinely illegally park overnight.

The bus had been parked near Bay Ridge Parkway; the truck was towed from Seventh Avenue adjacent to the Dyker Beach Park Golf Course.

“We are going to continue enforcement over there,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, who said that the tow trucks would be back along the thoroughfare in the not-too-distant future, to drive home the message that parking by commercial vehicles on residential streets would not be tolerated in the neighborhood. Commercial vehicles are not allowed to be parked on city streets between 9 pm and 5 am, or for more than three hours at a stretch.

The two towings followed a failed attempt to solve the problem through an uptick in ticketing police.

Police say cops have already issued about 200 tickets — with penalties ranging from $65 to $515 per offense — this year. Last year the precinct issued 1,300 summons for overnight truck parking, according to Rodriguez.

Last week, Community Board 10 voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the NYPD tow or boot the offending vehicles, which take away parking spots from local motorists, make it harder for pedestrians to see oncoming traffic when they cross the street, and look out-of-place in a residential neighborhood.

“One of the major complaints in Bay Ridge is that there’s no place to park, so if people are illegally parking commercial vehicles on the streets, they are taking parking spaces away from you and me,” said Doris Cruz, the chairwoman of the board’s Traffic and Transportation Committee.

Besides enforcement, the 68th Precinct is also looking at other ways of getting the drivers of commercial vehicles to obey the law. Officers have reached out to some of the companies whose vehicles have been parked illegally on the precinct’s residential streets, Rodriguez said, in hopes that talking to them could encourage compliance with the law. In addition, he said, the precinct is working with the community board on improving signage in the area.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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