Those wheels were a rollin’ all night long — straight to the impound yard.
The 63rd Precinct made good on its promise to crack down on illegally parked 18-wheel trucks on Monday night when it requisitioned one of the police department’s few tow trucks heavy enough to haul the big rigs, and dragged two of them away.
“Hopefully they’ll get the message,” said a source within the precinct. “Worse comes to worst, we have to do it again — and we will.”
Members of the Marine Park, Mill Island, and Mill Basin civic associations have long complained about the big rig parking hassles plaguing Avenue U, Avenue V, and Ralph Avenue throughout the Marine Park and Mill Basin areas.
The community got so fed up with the 18-wheel interlopers that the civic associations pledged to purchase heavy-duty wheel boots and donate them to the 63rd Precinct as a way to force the trucks off the roads and onto the commercial parking lots where they belong.
“Way back it was decided that [police] could boot the vehicle — that way they would have to pay for any outstanding tickets to have it removed, plus pay to have the boot removed, plus pay the illegal parking fine,” said Mill Island Civic Association president Sol Needle.
The boots have been a long time coming, however, and the big rig drivers meanwhile have been able to shrug off the occasional parking ticket as a cost of business — until now.
The NYPD’s heavy-duty tow truck hauled two big rigs to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Monday night, after finding one illegally parked on Avenue U at E. 60th Street, and another on Avenue V at Coleman Street.
The truck on Avenue V was relative newcomer to the area, but the 18-wheeler on Avenue U was a longtime parking offender, according to a source at the 63rd Precinct.
“The one on Avenue V is kind of new, he’s been there for a month, or two, but the one on Avenue U has been there for ever,” said the source.
Both trucks face the same penalty in towing and storage fees, and fines, which altogether come to a grand total of $780 per truck.
Local civic leaders are optimistic that this latest tactic in the war against illegal parking will at least persuade truckers to park somewhere else, but they realize that will simply move the problem rather than solve it.
“The problem is, if we get rid of one, he’s going to go and park in someone else’s community, and someone’s going to take his place,” said Needle.
He believes that only a determined, two-pronged assault of heavier fines and aggressive enforcement will truly solve the problem.
“Unfortunately, I think the parking fines will have to be increased, along with enforcement, and hopefully between the two, it will act as a deterrent to keep these trucks from illegally parking,” Needle said.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn