Motorists to NYPD: Let us get away with double-parking

The Brooklyn Paper
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Pro-car activists in Williamsburg and Greenpoint are asking cops for the legal greenlight to double-park.

North Brooklyn motorists claim police have long looked the other way when drivers double-park on street cleaning days in neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Boerum Hill, and Bushwick — but often ticket motorists in Williamsburg and Greenpoint for the same vehicular transgression.

The risk of fines forces car-owners to circle the neighborhoods looking for a spot during alternate-side parking hours, but finding a space can be so tedious that some drivers accept the fee and leave their rides in the path of street sweepers, sullying the community in the process, claims Rabbi David Niederman.

The answer, according to Niederman, is legalized double-parking.

“They have to give the opportunity for law-abiding citizens to help have a clean community and not be penalized,” said Niederman, a member of Community Board 1 — which assembled a “task force” to discuss legalizing double-parking last week. “I feel very strongly that we should be treated the same as the other communities.”

At first blush, authorities seem willing to turn a blind eye to the automotive violation, which can yield a $115 ticket.

Captain Jim Ryan, new commander of the 94th Precinct, and Department of Sanitation community affairs officer Iggy Terranova told CB1 members they may be able to negotiate “discretion­ary enforcement.”

“We’re going to work with transportation and sanitation and see if we can come up with a policy that works,” said Ryan.

It’s not as easy as issuing a bulletin to officers: authorities would need to determine on which streets double-parking would be permissible, how to inform drivers if no signs spell out the policy, and whether the amnesty would extend beyond alternate-side parking hours, Ryan said.

The rule change would require a pledge by motorists to not block in other vehicles, according to CB1 member and legal double-parking supporter Simon Weiser.

“In most areas, you see people standing by their vehicle,” said Weiser. “They’re not blocking anybody.”

But ignoring double-parking would set a double standard, according to some North Brooklynites.

“Double parking is illegal in the city of New York, so why are we even discussing it?” said CB1 member Tom Burrows.

Board member Ryan Kuonen said the added convenience of double-parking isn’t worth the added risk to cyclists.

“Double-parking is very dangerous for bikers,” said Kuonen. “If you want to have easy parking all the time, pay for a parking spot.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:09 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
A better solution than legalizing double-parking: sell your car. If you're not using it, and when it's parked it's by definition not being used, sell it.
March 18, 2013, 7:10 am
T from Williamsburg says:
Motorists are the most selfish, entitled, arrogant New Yorkers there are. And that's saying a lot.
March 18, 2013, 8:03 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
The blind eye to double-parking works fine in Park Slope, as it should in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. It doesn't seem to cause any undue danger to cyclists, and it helps keep the streets clean. Drivers need to do their part by leaving their contact info, so someone parked in can get out when necessary.

I'd rather see police enforce dangerous transgressions, like speeding, failure to yield and obstructing fire hydrants. How about we let motorists double-park during street cleaning, but throw the book at them when they kill and maim?
March 18, 2013, 8:35 am
scott from park slope says:
mike, it's not that simple. do you have a handicapped person in your household? elderly? small children? good luck negotiating them and all the stuff they need through the subways with the turnstiles and stairs. just because you don't personally have a use-case for owning a car in the city does not mean such a thing does not exist. oh, go get a zip car, you say? OK, so now in addition to carrying 2-3 small kids down a 3rd floor walkup you now have to also somehow carry their car seats plus the diaper bags?

most middle-class families cannot afford to pay high rents and also $500/mo. for a garage spot, so double-parking for street cleaning is necessary. the folks in north Brooklyn ought to be able to do what people in park slope, boerum hill, et al do.
March 18, 2013, 8:46 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
"I can't afford to follow the law" is one of the weaker arguments I've heard for breaking it. Park Slope and Boerum Hill should become more like north Brooklyn in this regard.
March 18, 2013, 9:13 am
joey from Clinton Hills says:
double parking during alternate side street cleaning is a NYC tradition. I can't believe the Williamsburg/Greenpoint cops ticket during alternate side parking.
March 18, 2013, 9:34 am
ty from pps says:
This is absurd... for one reason (and it has nothing to do with street sweeping!)

Where are the double-parking tickets WHEN IT'S ACTUALLY DANGEROUS?!

If you move a whole lane of cars to the left or right, you still have a big, wide open lane. Where the NYPD should be enforcing the double-parking ($115 tickets) is on main thoroughfares where double-parking makes the fast traffic unpredictable and dangerous! But, no. That's not low-hanging fruit for the worthless, so-called "traffic agents."

Cars double-parked on busy two-way streets creating dangerous bottlenecks and forcing cars to drive into oncoming traffic.... No tickets.

Double-parking on a one-way, side street for street cleaning? Lots of tickets.

If the NYPD would focus their attention on SAFETY FIRST like they are supposed to, they would have PLENTY of revenue AND safer streets.
March 18, 2013, 9:39 am
St from Bklyn says:
People who say that double parking doesn't "cause any undue danger to cyclists" clearly don't ride a bike.

If a car is double parked, I have to merge with faster moving automobile traffic. Also, instead of remaining in a separate bike lane where I can go as fast or as slow as I choose, I now have to ride with traffic where I run the risk of an angry driver honking and getting aggressive since I can't pedal quite as fast as most drivers like to go.

I agree with above posters. Drivers are very selfish! You want a place to store your private vehicle while the city cleans the street? Pay for a garage!
March 18, 2013, 10:09 am
excuses from PS says:
I got 3 small kids, it's no excuse to double park. My husband or I always make sure we move the car the night before if it's on street cleaning side. Yes, it's a bit of a hassle and driving around looking for space can take up to 40 minutes on high end sometimes, but that's part of being responsive car owner.
March 18, 2013, 10:18 am
excuses from PS says:
*responsible - not responsive
March 18, 2013, 10:19 am
excuses from PS says:
** responsible, not responsive
March 18, 2013, 10:19 am
excuses from PS says:
--- responsible, not responsive
March 18, 2013, 10:19 am
Alan from Crown Heights says:
This isn't the number one traffic safety problem (I'd much rather see enforcement against speeders and all the jerks double-parked or illegally parked in bike lanes, especially in Downtown Brooklyn commute routes), but how many of y'all saying this isn't a problem for bikes actually ride bikes in a neighborhood where they do this?

When biking through Park Slope at street cleaning time, the problem is that all of the cars don't move across the street at the same time. That means that, while biking, I have to slalom through cars parked on either side of the street, often with cars behind me trying to make unsafe passes as well. Many of the double-parked cars also suddenly cut across the street without looking for bikes.

When I owned a car, I moved it the night before alternate-side parking. No, it wasn't particularly fun, but that's the very least the city could ask for in exchange for free storage of a car on some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If that's not something you're prepared to deal with, either get a garage spot, move further out and get a driveway, or sell your car. It's not like there's a shortage of people who want to live in Williamsburg or Greenpoint.
March 18, 2013, 10:36 am
brooklyn biker from South Slope says:
Park Slope should become more like North Brooklyn, ticket these unused cars.
Ty makes an excellent point, NYPD should ticket double parked vehicles in general, esp when dangerous, which they do not.
Double parking is certainly dangerous for cyclists, this is one reason why it's illegal; if you are double parking, you are not a "Law abiding citizen". Picture having to avoid speeding cars driving on the wrong side of the avenue so they can get around a double parked car on their side. That is 5th ave in the Slope at all hours of the day.

Your decision to have a car in North or South Brooklyn is your problem, don't make it a burden for everyone else.
March 18, 2013, 10:50 am
Walker from Brooklyn says:
Yeah, seems like a fair deal.

In exchange for parking your car FOR FREE on city streets, you have to legally move it every now and then.

If you can't comply with the law, why do you deserve this free public good?
March 18, 2013, 11:07 am
Juliette from Greenpoint says:
Thel issue:
You can double park onscome neighborhoods and not in others.
Now that greenpoint and Williamsburg are moving up the economic ladder we should be allowed to break the law, like the other big boys do.
March 18, 2013, 11:10 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Our truck got a double park ticket as my driver was sitting in the truck waiting for the other truck to pull out, in front of our store.

City needs money.
March 18, 2013, Noon
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
What does Tal think?
March 18, 2013, 12:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I'm glad you asked Other Michael although I'm sure you will namecall and insult my arguments even before you read this. Its uncalled for but I'm not surprised that you do that kind of thing. That being said the police should not be using this as a money laundering scheme to gain revenue from working New Yorkers who are required to park their cars. If the city can not provide space for them to go when the street needs to be cleaned than it needs to reimburse them for the cost of parking in a garage for the time that they need to be there until the street cleaners are gone. They pay taxes and should not have this taken away from them if this is the way it has been. But of course that's what you can expect now that Bloomberg is leaving since he'll probably try to get more money from people, especially drivers, since he wasn't able to get the congtestion pricing he and Sadik-Khan believe will save New York. Really what is the harm here if people aren't doing anything that isn't illegal? You have no answer for that Other Michael do you?
March 18, 2013, 12:27 pm
excuses from PS says:
@Tal - "If the city can not provide space for them to go when the street needs to be cleaned ...until the street cleaners are gone."

Think that would be fair to say if it's the case. However, I believe there are spaces, may be within a few block radius of where driver resides. The problem is those people who choose to double park because they want their car in front of their house or same block and that they do not wish to venture any further than that (even if it's around the corner)
March 18, 2013, 1:21 pm
Ty from Dbowl says:
I know everything.
March 18, 2013, 1:42 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Pro-car = Anti-pedestrian
March 18, 2013, 1:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off all, knock it off with the impersonations, especially when I wasn't even at a computer at 1:27 PM today, and if anyone doesn't tell me where they were at that time, I will assume it was them. Anyway, double parking can go both ways here. If there is someone waiting in the car, it's sort of a get of parking ticket free card here whereas leaving it there wouldn't be. However, I do feel that double parking just for unloading or waiting should be a last resort, not a first resort. It's actually legal to pull by a no parking zone when it comes to loading and unloading passengers and cargo, while a no standing zone does is for loading and unloading passengers only, but not cargo at all, though a no stopping zone doesn't allow either. There are some blocks that have allowed for people to wait for the time of the alternate side parking to be lifting as long as the street cleaner has done their job without getting fined, though they will probably only give tickets to those who left before it lifted as they would do on all others. For the record, I have seen many standing by fire hydrants and hardly ever ticketed just because they were there, and the same goes for the all the other places were parking is either not allowed during the day or not at all just as long as someone was there.
March 18, 2013, 2:56 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Double parking = Madness
March 18, 2013, 3:22 pm
Kevin from Flatbush says:
I can tell that the first Tal is the fake because those sentences (while misguided and poorly informed) actually make sense.
Second Tal? That guy is pretty much incoherent and therefore , the REAL TAL!
March 18, 2013, 3:33 pm
Kevin from Flatbush says:
Also, double parking for street cleaning?
On my list of obnoxious and selfish things drivers do that endanger other people (other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists) this is about 274th.

If the NYPD would actually enforce speeding laws and ticket those who park in bike lanes, while letting street cleaning double parking slide, I'd be pretty happy.

As always they do what is easiest and most profitable, not what improves safety the most.
March 18, 2013, 3:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Kevin, I will support all that you said just as long as equal enforcement goes to all the cyclists and pedestrians that break the rules as well rather than just being selective to motorists only.
March 18, 2013, 5:34 pm
ty from pps says:
No problem, Tal. I say go ahead and ticket bicycles for speeding, parking in bike lanes, and double-parking. Oh, and pedestrians too! Give them tickets for double-parking. Definitely.
March 18, 2013, 5:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Pro-car = Anti-pedestrian"

Nice try, but the downplay effect just doesn't work. I see it more of just a way of taking cheap shots without having an actual discussion. As someone who is pro-car, I don't see myself as being anti-pedestrian, and there are probably many other pro-car advocates who feel the same way as I do. Nobody would like it if I had to say something about those that are anti-car being elitist, so stop with this profiling. According to Confucius, respect is something one must earn, not demand.
March 18, 2013, 7:06 pm
Mark from Used to be from Bklyn says:
People have been double parking on alternate side sayd in Kensington at least since I was a kid in the 70's. Cops never gave tickets then and still don't as my dad does it every week.

What's the problem in Williamsburg?
March 18, 2013, 7:52 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Hey Tal

Spend much time in Williamsburg?
March 18, 2013, 8:28 pm
JAY from NYC says:
or we could just get rid of street cleaning, which does not really clean a street anyway, no more need to double park, and save the city a bunch of money in the process
March 18, 2013, 9:30 pm
ty from pps says:
WOW! That last comment at 8:06pm was DEFINITELY the real Tal. Jesus H. Christmas! Just amazing.
March 18, 2013, 11:13 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
There needs to be more empirical research done.
March 19, 2013, 9:09 am
Tony q from Cobble Hill says:
JAY !!
You are totally right !!!
March 19, 2013, 9:15 am
scott from park slope says:
mike, ok, so let me get this straight, a trivial matter of $6K a year for a garage spot for a middle-income household is a "weak argument for breaking the law?" So are you also going to argue that every person who drives 1mph over the speed limit ought to have the book thrown at them because they're breaking the law, even if that's the speed that every other car is travelling? Should every pedestrian who jaywalks also get a ticket despite it being customary for pedestrians in NYC to jaywalk like mad?

So, if a middle income family with small kids should dare to, say, visit the grandparents in the suburbs or go to the zoo or buy groceries in the suburbs for 1/3 what it would cost you in the city, they should just suck it up and forego those things because cyclists would have to ride around parked cars?

I am pro-cycling. I commute to work by bike from Park Slope to Upper Manhattan, 15 miles each way. I get annoyed by how cavalierly drivers and delivery vans double park in bike lanes. I curse when they edge into the bike lane without a single glance in their mirror to see if they're going to kill a cyclist.

I am pro-public transportation. If you can't or won't bike, it's a great way to get around the city. Many people who drive to work (such as city workers who get to park on the street in Manhattan for free) ought not to, because the MTA would get them there quite handily.

But there still are valid reasons for middle-income families to own cars who can't afford dedicated garage spots. Being able to double park during street cleaning without being harassed by overzealous ticketers is as much a part of NYC tradition as is jaywalking for pedestrians.
March 19, 2013, 10:05 am
al from bed stuy says:
a better thing to ask for is that streetcleaning not happen 4 times a week. when i lived in greenpoint, it really wasn't all that filthy, but every weekday except wednesday required watching where you parked.

the park slope double parking thing has always bothered me. why are they allowed to do that in the first place?
March 19, 2013, 2:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Some NYC neighborhoods have made it legal to park before the alternate side parking rules are lifted for that day as long as the street cleaner already came. In other neighborhoods, the police don't mind anyone waiting for the rule to lift as long as the street has already been cleaned and they are still in their cars, which is what I do. Scott does have a good point about double parking during street cleaning. Once the street cleaning is done, they can all go back to the curb without any problems. Seriously, there wouldn't be much of a need for street cleaning if people stopped throwing their trash on the street that makes them filthy to begin with. Please use the trash cans that exist at numerous intersections, while residents can just use the ones right by their homes.
March 19, 2013, 5:43 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Which neighborhood in NYC is it that you park after the street sweeper has gone by?
March 19, 2013, 5:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
About a few years ago, there were neighborhoods saying that they would allow for parking where it's alternate side only after the street cleaner went by, and that was in the NY Times, though I don't know if any really placed that.
March 19, 2013, 7:30 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
double parking in brooklyn ( i grew up in flatbush and not in kensington) has gone on forever - it may be more of an ethnic thing/snotty treat cops like —— thing that get tickets
March 19, 2013, 7:59 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal, you said, "which is what I do" -- which neighborhood is that?
March 19, 2013, 10:33 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal said, "Seriously, there wouldn't be much of a need for street cleaning if people stopped throwing their trash on the street that makes them filthy to begin with."

The media might not have reported it yet, but we still have trees in Brooklyn. Our streets are not filthy, but the cars need to move at least once of week so they can be cleaned.

Again, Tal, come visit these streets you love to comment about so much.
March 20, 2013, 5:01 am
Ian from 11206 says:
Maybe we should just start charging market rate for street parking through a permit system instead of forcing the rest of us to subsidize car owners with free parking.
March 20, 2013, 9:14 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
March 20, 2013, 2:22 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ian, that was talked about during the time Bloomberg wanted to place congestion pricing and there was high opposition to that. The reason was because they didn't want to turn streets that are actually public into private communities that would actually make it harder for visitors to that area to find parking themselves. Also, I feel that same of them to do have them like Forest Hills Gardens are completely unnecessary especially when most of the property there have either garages or driveways there. Another thing is those who can't afford them will be forced to either rent a garage just to say close by or park further from where they live just to save money. BTW, all NYC motorists do pay for the roads they park on, so they are already paying for them, and they are not being subsidized for them at all. For the record, I have been on many of the streets I have commented on, so I am speaking from experience here.
March 20, 2013, 4:24 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Except that the homeowners that are parking on the streets are already paying "market value" in taxes for homes with no driveways, and register their cars at their "weekend" homes to save $$ on insurance. If not for those issues, permit parking would have happened years ago.
March 20, 2013, 4:31 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- We've covered this SOOOOOO many times.

"and they are not being subsidized for them at all."

The roads and on-street parking that motorists (myself included) are subsidized by EVERYONE THAT DOESN'T OWN A CAR. That is OVER HALF of the people in New York City. How is this so freakin' hard to understand? Everyone pays city taxes (income and the NYC portion of the sales tax) and everyone is paying property taxes (either directly or through their rent). Period.
March 20, 2013, 5:59 pm
ty from pps says:
Common Sense - I agree. If neighborhood (or even borough) permits were introduced, we'd probably get all sorts of extra parking.... 1/2 of the NC, NJ, PA, VA, FL, etc. plates would disappear!

The side benefit of that would be less insurance fraud and lower premiums for all of us. All of those people with out-of-state plates effectively have no insurance. For anything more than a $1500 ding, no insurance company would pay out. They would spend 12 minutes investigating the "primary garage" of the policy holder and refuse to pay any claim.
March 20, 2013, 6:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, what you say about motorists being subsidized by non-motorists, I can say the same thing about transit riders being subsidized by non-transit riders as well. However, the fees that I pay for my car isn't that subsidized and they just about double almost annually compared to the monthly Metrocard that is only going up by a few dollars. Owning a car isn't cheap at all especially when it's in a good condition. For the record, my car is registered in this state, so it's not from another one if that's what you're thinking. My point is why should motorists pay more to park on a road that their tax dollars already pay for, which feels like double tipping?
March 20, 2013, 9:02 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh Jesus Give Me Strength!
March 20, 2013, 9:17 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

How much do you pay to park on the road? How much more do you pay that someone who does not own a car?
March 21, 2013, 4:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, I was talking about how much it costs to maintain a car. Those are things that nobody else pays for but the car owner themselves do. Also, many of the fees aren't subsidized at all, and when they go up, they are much higher compared to the monthly Metrocard you transit fanatics are whining about. The parking and gas taxes make things even worse as if it what is being normally paid for isn't high as is. Overall, just allow for double parking during the time the street cleaner comes and let them wait by the curb once it's done for the time to lift, because we motorists have been through enough already.
March 21, 2013, 3:36 pm
Other Michael from The real world says:
I own a car and live in Park Slope. Do you know that sometimes the sweeper comes by twice? yes it does. Sometimes it does not come at all.

Do you really expect the cops to know when it came so they can enforce the law?
March 21, 2013, 5:26 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- What the f*ck does the maintenance costs for your PRIVATE PROPERTY have to do with ANYTHING?! You are seriously a stupid person.
March 21, 2013, 7:49 pm
ty from pps says:
"because we motorists have been through enough already"

I think the Anti-Defamation League has a new cause! The oppression of the motorist in a car-centric society.
March 21, 2013, 7:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
All I am just asking is to allow them to just double park on the opposite side just to clear the way for the street cleaner. After that, they can go back to the curb and wait for the time of the sign for alternate side parking to lift for the remainder of the time. Is that really too much to ask for? I guess to the anti-car crowd, it is.
March 21, 2013, 9:04 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal,
I own a car and move it twice a week for street cleaning. If I'm not driving that day, the night before I make sure my car is parked on the correct side of the street.

Is that really too much to ask for? I guess to the anti-rational thought crowd, it is.
March 21, 2013, 9:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Is that really too much to ask for? I guess to the anti-rational thought crowd, it is."

I find that very interesting coming from a person who is known for making personal attacks and acting very defensive numerous times when this is really describing yourself.
March 22, 2013, 2:57 pm

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