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These cars have boxed her in!

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Motorists who park their cars on the sidewalks of Bay Ridge are driving at least one woman mad.

Wheelchair-user Jean Ryan says that the ever-increasing traffic jam of cars on the community’s sidewalks have forced her to risk dangerous descents over curbs or even into traffic.

“We should not have to share any sidewalk with cars,” said Ryan, who has started to photograph offending vehicles. “The sidewalk is for pedestrians only.”

The problem of cars on sidewalks in Bay Ridge stems from a lack of parking in the neighborhood.

And sidewalk parking has only gotten worse in recent months, according to Josephine Beckmann, the district manager of Bay Ridge’s Community Board 10.

“We’ve gotten a lot of complaints about sidewalk parking — mostly notably about establishments like car dealerships and car washes — but also about other locations,” said Beckmann, whose board is in the process of drafting “terse” letters to offending businesses, as well as a request for increased enforcement from police.

“I understand that there is not a lot of parking and certain businesses have spacing issues, but it’s very clear that cars should not be on the sidewalk.”

The board pinpointed a number of sidewalk parking hotspots that cause a “quality-of-life issue particularly for senior citizens and people with disabiliti­es,” including several sites along Fourth Avenue in the 80s and 90s and at Xaverian HS.

But Xaverian Dean of Students Michael Wilson claims that his faculty has permission from the city to park on several sidewalk spaces along Narrows Avenue because the school actually owns the land.

An employee at one of the other purported offenders — Fourth Avenue’s Life Quality BMW dealership — admitted that cars have been parked on sidewalk.

“There is a possibility that it has happened, but [the cars] don’t stay there for long,” said the employee.

But for Ryan — who is urging the city to ramp up enforcement against sidewalk parking — any amount of time is too long.

“It’s illegal for cars to park on any sidewalk — no matter what,” said Ryan.

Updated 4:25 pm, April 9, 2009
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Reasonable discourse

Pat from Bay Ridge says:
Get. Off. The. Sidewalk.

"Not enough parking" is not an excuse. This isn't Los Angeles.
April 9, 2009, 1:17 am
Mike from Greenpoint says:
The problem isn't the lack of car parking, it's too much FREE and CHEAP parking for cars. Raise the price of parking, implement bridge tolls and you will have less traffic and fewer cars jockeying for space. Trying to add more parking spaces will only worsen the problem.

"But Xaverian Dean of Students Michael Wilson claims that his faculty has permission from the city to park on several sidewalk spaces along Narrows Avenue because the school actually owns the land." No, you do not have permission.
April 9, 2009, 10:10 am
D. from Downtown Manh. says:
Mr. Muessig: "not enough parking?" Are you kidding? I see that you're proud of how Brooklyn Paper has said that for a long time, but that really just contributed to the problem by blaming the wrong thing. The problem is not a shortage of parking; the problem is there are too many cars in this neighborhood, which did not develop around cars (nor should it have)!
April 9, 2009, 10:38 am
Emilio from Bay Ridge says:
Another major problem in the illegally park cars with the police, fire or other city agency papers. Some of them use fire hydrant or don't park areas as their private parking spot. I have also seen these cars park blocking the ramps at corners.
April 9, 2009, 11:03 am
D. from Bay Ridge says:
Any car parked on the sidewalk deserves to be keyed.
April 9, 2009, 11:26 am
Ed from Propsect Heights says:
There is PLENTY of parking in New York City. It's just not free, and it's not right in front of your doorway, unless you build a parking a lot on your own land. City streets and sidewalks are not places for people or businesses to be storing their personal property.
April 9, 2009, 11:34 am
BK Lounge from BK Lounge says:
Wait--so if there's a "lack of parking," it's okay to park on a sidewalk?

The problem doesn't "stem from a lack of parking;" the problem stems from drivers BREAKING THE LAW FLAGRANTLY AND DANGEROUSLY.

You should retract your statement that this stems from a lack of parking. Irresponsible thing to say; it ignores the criminality of the car owners--THE PROBLEM.
April 9, 2009, 12:44 pm
Mazz from Bay Ridge says:
Motorists in Bay Ridge Simply Suck!! They think they Own Everything!! From using the parking lot as a side street at the Dunkin Donuts on 94st and Fourth Ave. To driving and Parking on the Sidewalks. And triple Parked Cars with Drivers flying down the street at 50mph! Almost every morning leaving for work I see one of the owners of the "Panda Sport" store (92st @ 5ave.) park his Large White SUV on the sidewalk. He sometimes She, really bully you off the sidewalk! They drive up on to the Curb at speed!! Around 15 to 20mph. And When you make Eye Contact they look at you like "Hey, get out of my Way!" This Needs To Stop NOW!! In Bay Ridge for every Good law abiding driver, there's fifteen miserable ones out there... Be Careful, watch where you walk!!
April 9, 2009, 1:28 pm
Paco from Cobble Hill says:
If you see it, call 311. Report the business. Take photos and you can even upload them now. It may not do much more than informing the CB will, but its a start. Also complain at the local precinct's community council meetings every month. People have a right to the sidewalks. Cars do not.
April 9, 2009, 1:36 pm
Eric from Greenpoint says:
I love how the BK paper just states that "The problem of cars on sidewalks in Bay Ridge stems from a lack of parking in the neighborhood." as a casual aside that everyone already knew.
April 9, 2009, 4:56 pm
Realitycheck from Bay Ridge says:
D. from Downtown Manh. says: "The problem is not a shortage of parking; the problem is there are too many cars in this neighborhood, which did not develop around cars (nor should it have)!"

Hello? It's not a farm, summer resort for the wealthy, or little townlet anymore - it's a neighborhood that's part of NYC, but out-of-the-way, and with spotty public transit.
Its residents must work/travel/shop/pick up the kids/run errands all over - they don't (can't) just stay 'parochial,' and leave the neighborhood only on special occasions. And not everyone can ride a bike.
If BRers had to rely solely on mass transit, BR would be a real backwater.
April 10, 2009, 3:59 am
Jeff from Bay Ridge says:
Mazz from Bay Ridge says -- 'They think they Own Everything!! From using the parking lot as a side street at the Dunkin Donuts on 94st and Fourth Ave. To driving and Parking on the Sidewalks. And triple Parked Cars with Drivers flying down the street at 50mph!'

Also the double- and triple-parked delivery and private vehicles that clot Third Ave, blocking other drivers' view ... the permanently car-filled sidewalks around the corner from Honda ... double-parking and standing by parents picking up schoolkids (which can totally constipate traffic on bad-weather days) ... people double parking on sidestreets, or blocking driveways and hydrants, or using some bogus NYC-NYPD-FDNY placard ...

But our City Councilguy and State Sen. think that traffic agents have been too aggressive, and are hurting "business."
April 11, 2009, 12:07 pm
Mo from Bay Ridge says:
Xaverian now "owns" the sidewalk on Narrows Avenue? And has permission from the "city" to park there. Please, someone investigate this. I bet the only permission they have is from their buddies at the NYPD (Xaverian is overwhelmingly staffed by ex-cops) to not ticket them for parking on the sidewalk, wink, wink.
April 15, 2009, 3:16 pm

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