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.
©2009 Community News Group
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