Here They Are: Meet Some of NYC’s Worst Sidewalk Hogs

Manetta’s Restaurant in Long Island City. Care for a nice pinot noir and some tailpipe exhaust with your entrée? Photo: ##https://twitter.com/alter_spaces/status/487685561558519808/photo/1##@alter_spaces##
Manetta’s Restaurant in Long Island City. Care for a nice pinot noir and some tailpipe exhaust with your entrée? Photo: @alter_spaces

We asked for photos of NYC’s worst sidewalk-hogging businesses, and readers responded.

We relaxed our guidelines a little to make room for government agencies. In the arena of public institutions that show no respect for people on foot, the United States Postal Service and employees of Metro-North in Harlem deserve special recognition.

More from LIC, where pedestrian safety is clearly not a priority for USPS, which seems to be using the sidewalk on 28th Street in Dutch Kills as a loading dock. Photo: ##https://twitter.com/DutchLic/status/486331011131654144/photo/1##@DutchLic##
Pedestrian safety is clearly not a priority for USPS, which seems to be using the sidewalk on 28th Street in Dutch Kills as a loading dock. Photo: @DutchLic

Not surprisingly, car-related businesses were a major force. To the car rental firms on the Upper West Side and car dealers in the Bronx, we salute your complete indifference to people who expect to use sidewalks for walking.

And a special shout-out goes to Manetta’s Restaurant in Long Island City, where the linguine nere comes with a side of valet combat parking.

You’ll notice that several of our winners have violated the law for years in full view of NYPD, which itself may be the city’s most notorious usurper of public space for vehicle storage.

Thanks to all who participated in our search. Everyone whose photo appeared on the blog will get a Streetfilms DVD.

Bonus points to Metro-North employees for leaving residents absolutely no space on ##https://twitter.com/hessmatthias/status/460741716849741825##this Harlem sidewalk##. ##https://twitter.com/HessMatthias/status/487613495790542848##Matthias Hess## says this is a “longtime problem” in the neighborhood.
Bonus points to Metro-North employees for leaving residents absolutely no space on this Harlem sidewalk. Matthias Hess says this is a “longtime problem” in the neighborhood.
Per ##https://twitter.com/urbanresidue/status/486653899160293376##@urbanresidue##, NYPD says no action is necessary on Cambreleng Avenue in the Bronx, where car dealers have commandeered the sidewalk for years. Image: Google Maps
Per @urbanresidue, NYPD says no action is necessary on Cambreleng Avenue in the Bronx, where car dealers have commandeered the sidewalk for years. Image: Google Maps
Another persistent violator: car rental outlets and garages on W. 83rd Street in Manhattan, which ##https://twitter.com/kencoughlin/status/485457059551260672/photo/1##Ken Coughlin## describes as an “incessant pedestrian slalom.”
Another persistent violator: car rental outlets and garages on W. 83rd Street in Manhattan, which Ken Coughlin describes as an “incessant pedestrian slalom.”
  • BBnet3000

    Youre just assuming those cars arent meant to be parked there because of the curb and concrete without knowing all the facts!

    – Captain Thomas Harnisch

  • Would love to see something like this done for businesses AND people who do this here in Philadelphia, but there probably isn’t enough storage space on the entire internet to post all the photos…

  • red_greenlight1

    I’m surprised there are no pictures of car repair shops on Bergen Street. Not only do they use the sidewalk but sometimes they use the bike lane and the sidewalk as repair bays!

  • I came upon this charming scene on Saturday in Hunts Point in The Bronx: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrightfamilyarchives/14453247689/ The further away vehicle is clearly worse, as it’s entirely blocking that bit of the sidewalk. I took the picture on a bike ride. This section of sidewalk is a bike and pedestrian path.

  • Yeah. Typical Streetsblog. Assuming it wasn’t a pedestrian that pushed those vehicles there.

  • Tyler

    You should come on down to Coney Island Avenue, where “Hollywood Car Wash” creates a lovely bottleneck by blocking not just the sidewalk, not just the parking lane, but yes, 1 of the 2 travel lanes of the south-bound side as well!! The DOT actually installed plastic bollards on the center line to help prevent front on collisions with the left-turn lane on the north-bound side… guess what? Most of those plastic bollards are now GONE. Basically worn away from being hit so often.

    It’s the border of two NYPD precincts, so they don’t care. In fact, they like to shift blame to DSNY and the DOT. Our local political leaders don’t give a crap and don’t respond to inquiries. It’s just great!

  • Tyler

    Courtesy of our pals at Google (and the NSA?), this is what this stretch of Coney Island Avenue looks like… Notice the car repair shop adjacent to the car wash using the sidewalk for storage.

  • Tyler

    Did my image load below? (I’ll try again)

  • AnoNYC

    You stumbled across it on a good day. That pathway is usually lined with parked autos. This bridge is a vital connection for pedestrians/bicyclists between the East and West Bronx.

  • Andres Dee

    You know they only do this because of the bicyclers… (/sarcasm)

  • Andrew

    It’s the border of two NYPD precincts, so they don’t care.

    Wait, they care when it’s squarely within one or the other?

  • MikeB

    If people would just walk over these cars like any other trash left on a sidewalk, this problem would go away quickly.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    When in college, a driver of a car repeatedly parked in the crosswalk on my way to class. After the 10th time, I purposely got mud on my shoes and walk right across the hood. The driver never parked there again.

  • Matthias

    Thanks for the mention! I’ve been reporting to 311 for years, and even got a callback from a sergeant at downtown HQ asking whether I was happy with the response. Of course I said there was no response (The police department responded and determined that no action was necessary) and his best advice was to attend the community board meeting where “someone of rank” would hear about it. Of course that’s only once a month at a time I usually can’t make it (and I’ve even forgotten the location by now). The 126th/Park location is particularly dangerous because it forces pedestrians into the street where drivers routinely speed and swerve into the crosswalk to pass turning vehicles–it really is terrifying.

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