Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
NYPD

How Many Obstacles Does It Take to Stop NYPD Sidewalk Parking?

1:31 PM EDT on August 11, 2011

This is the generous new sidewalk extension at the five-way intersection of Washington Avenue, Park Place, and Grand Avenue in Brooklyn. Here you can see bell bollards protecting the added pedestrian space between Washington, on the left, and Grand on the right.

I live around the corner, and I can't say enough about how much this addition has improved the walking experience. Before DOT put this in as part of a broader safety project, the area between Grand and Washington felt like a grey zone were pedestrians weren't supposed to tread. Walking on the east side of Washington usually entailed weaving between a combination of parked police vehicles and metal barricades:

Image: Google Street View

The cops who operate out of the building at the corner of Grand and Park have staked claim to the sidewalks here, and they seem to consider any pedestrian space within a 200-foot radius of their workplace to be fair game for parking. Here are their vehicles hogging the sidewalk on Park:

At first, when the city poured concrete earlier this year, the cops parked all over the new sidewalk extension too. But that has subsided over the past several weeks as more obstacles have popped up. Many more obstacles. First there were the bell bollards, a standard part of DOT's toolkit for pedestrian safety projects. Then came several skinnier, red bollards. Now there are huge granite slabs sitting on the sidewalk.

I wish I had taken pictures the whole time to document the sequence, but here's where things stand right now. Including the traffic signal pole, there are now 13 obstacles in the way of police who want to park on this sidewalk extension:

The total could rise to 15 if the new tree pits get planted as one would expect. This is apparently what it takes to keep the cops from appropriating space from people on foot in order to store their personal vehicles.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Underhill Ave. Still In Limbo Two Weeks After Mayor Promised Decision in ‘A Day Or So’

The mayor's perception of time differs from that of mere mortals, but he did say on Feb. 5 that he would decide "in a day or so." It's been two weeks.

February 21, 2024

Data Dive: More Delivery Workers are Registering Their Mopeds 

“If you have plates, [the police] won’t summons you,” Junior Pichardo told Streetsblog the other day on Flatbush Avenue. “They won’t bother you.” 

February 21, 2024

Why Your City Needs a Walkability Study

Two urbanism rockstars are joining forces to bring a game-changing analysis to more cities — and spilling some trade secrets about low-cost design strategies that get people moving.

February 21, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: No Times Like This Times Edition

Did the metro editors at the Times have drinks with their New York Post counterparts last week? Plus other news.

February 21, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines: The Polk’s on Us Edition

Our investigative reporter Jesse Coburn won a Polk Award for his three-part, seven-month "Ghost Tags" investigation. Plus other news.

February 20, 2024
See all posts