NYPD Won’t Touch Upper West Side Block Commandeered by Illegal Parking

Motorists with USPS placards, real and counterfeit, park where they want on W. 83rd Street, where NYPD refuses to enforce parking laws. Photo: Carson Dixon

A frustrated Upper West Side resident is looking to tame the rampant illegal parking and placard abuse on his block.

Carson Dixon says the curbs and sidewalks of W. 83rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues are lined constantly with illegally parked vehicles, left there by postal workers, firefighters, and employees of a parking garage.

Most of the vehicles parked in the street’s no standing zones belong to employees of the Planetarium Station post office, and display “real and fake” placards, according to Dixon. “The south side of 83rd street was designated as [no standing] by DOT to allow the fire truck to get down the block when the street is backed up,” he wrote in an email to Streetsblog. “The ‘backed up’ part happens a lot because Central Parking, with five exits/entrances on the block, can not and will not manage the car movements out of their garage. The chaos that ensues is unbelievable.”

You can take a stroll on the block via Google Maps to see what Dixon is talking about.

Both sides of this part of 83rd Street are supposedly no-standing zones. Image: Google Maps

Dixon has been in touch with DOT, FDNY, and the USPS. While postal workers use the street as their personal parking lot, they also leave USPS trucks straddled on the curb, or parked on the sidewalk. Dixon says a DOT staffer who visited the scene “is preparing a letter recommending that the Post Office stop this practice.”

As for NYPD enforcement, says Dixon: “I had a discussion with a meter maid and a police officer from the 20th Precinct. The meter maid told me that 82nd to 84th street between Amsterdam and Columbus is off limits to them. They can only write tickets in the alternate side zones, and not anywhere else in those areas. The officer I spoke to told me they stay away from those streets because it is a clusterf***. So, in essence, there you have it, nothing ever gets done.”

Photo: Carson Dixon
  • Guest

    Anyone attending tonight’s meeting about the Columbus Avenue bike lane should remember this post when Dan Zweig or some other opponent says that bike lanes and pedestrian island impede fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.

  • J

    Sadly, I can easily top that. Check out the Streetsview from West Harlem (151st, between Amsterdam and Convent). There is no more sidewalk, thanks to NYPD 30th Precinct vehicles completely blocking it. You can even see an officer forced to walk in the middle of the street. This scene is straight out of a developing country. Where is Mr. Pedestrian Safety, Jimmy Vacca, on this?


  • Ah yes….West 83rd.  Very apt description of the interaction of the car garage traffic and the post office and FDNY parkers.  The postal workers just put scraps of paper on their dash saying their postal workers, they get to park free all day at their office job sorting mail.  “Professional courtesy.”

  • Ian Turner

    We really need a citizen summons program in NYC.

  • Morris Zapp

    Where is Vacca? Working up laws to make all of this nice and legal.

  • Always surprises me that no one ever keys cars in situations like this.

    I’d never do this, but it surprises me that the guy out there who would never does.

    Im not sure what that says about society.

  • Always surprises me that no one ever keys cars in situations like this.

    I’d never do this, but it surprises me that the guy out there who would never does.

    Im not sure what that says about society.

  • Eric McClure

    Few things in New York CIty are more infuriating than unpunished illegal parking on sidewalks.

  • Guest

    I’m familiar with the 30th Precinct.  Good ol’ Dirty Thirty…

    For months after 9/11, they decided they would just go out and entirely close 151st Street.  Barricaded it off.  Problem was, it was the only outlet for Convent Avenue.  So drivers would go north on Convent: couldn’t make a right (wrong way on one-way), couldn’t continue north (wrong way on one-way), and couldn’t turn left because the morons at the precinct closed the street.  So they were forced to make like a 15-point U-turn in a narrow intersection.  Did not do good things for the peds walking through.

  • Diosmioprimero

    BAAAH! Wrong answer!  Prior to 9/11…W.83rd St’s parking did not read “No Parking”  The signs were changed because the firehouse on W.77 was going to be renovated. The firemen from the W.77 St firehouse were moving into the W.83rd St firehouse.  Therefore the parking signs were changed to make parking accessible to them. Then came 9/11.  Everything was delayed.  The 83rd St firehouse lost one of their own. There are far worst things in this city to worry about than parking for working people. With the economy the way it is, these people are lucky to have jobs and travel from all over to work (CT, PA & NJ) Complain about the infestation of rats on that block or the shelter across the street from a school.

  • Anonymous

    I believe citizens’ arrests remain legal in NY.  The trouble is that we don’t have citizens’ jails or citizens’ prosecutors.  So crooked DAs can still let people get away with anything.

  • Anonymous

    J: if I knew someone with a tow truck, I’d suggest towing the illegally parked police cars.  After all…

  • Ian Turner

    @neroden:disqus : I was actually referring to this: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/09/07/todays-headlines-1470/#comment-643563561

    Trying to perform citizen’s arrests strikes me as too confrontational and likely to just lead to violence. Plus parking is technically a violation, not a crime; I’m not sure you could do a citizen’s arrest even if the violation was committed in your presence.

  • Chipsblock

    You guys sound like the typical non-native New Yorker. Whining about petty shit that your one-horse towns consider front page news.

  • Henry

    @8bd0afeb4d7c19da2eea739ac74e4a2b:disqus You’re an idiot.

  • Brad Aaron

    @8bd0afeb4d7c19da2eea739ac74e4a2b:disqus is also @be09265e0f19195d58033db4d93e5207:disqus .

  • Brad Aaron

    @8bd0afeb4d7c19da2eea739ac74e4a2b:disqus is also @be09265e0f19195d58033db4d93e5207:disqus .

  • jr23

    easy fix use emment domain and knock some buildings down and add parking and widen the street


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