Illegal Parking Now “Legal” for Marty Markowitz


Yesterday we wondered if the city might be convinced to reconcile its vision of a sustainable city with its anti-urban parking policies. We’ll mark this one in the "no" column.

Late last week Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was busted by Uncivil Servants for parking on the sidewalk in front of Borough Hall during a meeting in which DOT unveiled its long awaited Downtown Brooklyn Transportation Blueprint — check out Priority Initiative #9 below (or download the entire list)…


Regardless of DOT priorities, it turns out that parking on sidewalks is only illegal for drivers who aren’t the Borough President or members of his staff, as the Daily News reports:

The Parks Department has struck a deal with Markowitz, allowing him and his staffers to park on the plaza along the east side of Borough Hall and even on the sidewalk on Joralemon St. next to a busy newsstand, Markowitz’s office said Tuesday.

Markowitz’s office argued it is perfectly legal for him to park on the busy sidewalk.

"We have an agreement with the Parks Department that is authorized by signage along that side of the building that allows permitted vehicles to use that space," said Markowitz spokesman Mark Zustovich.

The Parks Department said they could not comment on the exact location of Markowitz’s car the night of the hearing, but confirmed they had recently granted Markowitz the right to park on the flagstone walkway to the east of the building – but not on the plaza behind Borough Hall where Markowitz’s staffers used to park.

Markowitz last year tried to block a prohibition on cars in Prospect Park, until DOT did it anyway.

As Markowitz is flirting with a mayoral candidacy, livable streets advocates are getting a preview of how their agenda would fare under Mayor Marty. All together now: Fuhgeddaboudit!

Side note: Here’s a reason to hope for a Hillary Clinton presidency — Marty Markowitz, Ambassador to Trinidad.

Photos: Uncivil Servants

  • not a fan

    Marty Parkowitz for Mayor! His platform:

    -Transform 700 miles of sidewalk into SUV parking
    -Car-full Prospect and Central Park
    -Free Donuts for East River Bridge drivers via his innovative “congestion larging” plan co-implemented with Walter McCaffrey.

  • Ace

    Isn’t driving an automobile on a sidewalk “driving to endanger”?

  • ddartley

    An agreement between him and Parks does not make it legal.

    Since I don’t know how to create a link to a specific comment (other than a latest one), here’s my previous one in all its (newly edited) glory:

    1. Markowitz is necessarily cosmically out of touch with “his” Brooklynite constituents–the majority of whom don’t even own a car, let alone use one to abuse public space–if he and his entire office staff drive to work and park on sidewalks.

    2. Daily News gets it wrong; an agreement between a BP and Parks does not make this “legal.” They might be able to win a court decision saying it is legal, but until then, this agreement between a BP and Parks, even though Parks is, I suppose, under the City’s executive branch, does not necessarily have any governance over those sidewalks. It’s like cops thinking they’re entitled use placards to park on sidewalks because their Union contract says something about parking. It’s misplaced.

    Other park users should set up an early-morning picnic right on Markowitz’s “parking spot.”

  • Sam

    He doesn’t even drive the car…
    I think it’s a Borough Hall Vehicle not a personal vehicle but I could be wrong.

  • Markowitz should have had his driver ride right up the steps of the venue for the hearing and drop him at the dais, and then park next to it. It would have really made a splash and would have made clear more than any words he might have spoken his views on the subject of parking policy.

  • guess the couple of blocks he rides at the beginning of every Tour de Brooklyn didn’t have any last effect…

  • william

    And hasn’t Marty been an obstacle to a Car-Free Prospect Park??

  • Felix

    Years ago I was working the Bartel Pritchard entrance to Prospect Park on “Gotta Have Park Day”, asking people to contribute a dollar as they entered. Out of nowhere a car came driving into the pedestrian space and just kept coming toward us, parking right near us in a completely inappropriate space. “Who is this asshole,” I thought? The car stopped abruptly and out jumped You Know Who, running his mouth, trying to make himself the center of attention.

    It was the first time I had seen him in person, but my impression of him hasn’t changed since that when moment I noticed his car coming at me.

  • JF

    This satellite photo shows the plaza on the east side of Borough Hall (filled with cars). Note that just east of the plaza is … a parking lot!,-73.989514&spn=0.000709,0.001255&t=k&z=20&om=0

    Putting aside the question of why even that parking lot is in the park, there is parking for Markowitz there, but he would have to take it from one of his underlings, and where would they park? And of course, he’d have to walk a whole hundred feet further to get to that parking lot.

    I used to think that anyone would be an improvement over Howard Golden, but Markowitz has proven me wrong.

  • Eric

    “The Parks Department has struck a deal with Markowitz.”

    “Struck a deal?” That implies some sort of bargain. We know what Markowitz and his park-defiling staffers got. But what does the Parks Department get in return? And what do we taxpayers get?

    This is how we end up with luxury condos and a supermarket in Brooklyn Bridge “Park.”

  • Jonathan

    JF, I think the parking lot is for the state courts employees. And thanks for bringing back fond memories of Howard Golden, the Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Joralemon Street.

  • Joe Shmo

    Where does Marty live, anyways? Anybody have a good guess? I figure he’s got to live near one of the umpteen subway lines that go to Borough Hall.

  • Aghast


  • Davis

    Marty lives in the South Slope, all of, what, three subway stops on the F train or about a 12 minute bike ride that can be done almost entirely on well-marked, heavily traveled bike paths.

  • Eric

    Marty lives on Prospect Park West near 10th Street, maybe a two-minute walk from the F train at 8th Avenue and 9th Street. It’s almost guaranteed that the subway would get him to Borough Hall faster than his SUV does.


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