Yes, the Cars Parked on Borough Hall Plaza Belong to Eric Adams & Company

Last week reader Brian Howald called our attention to the vehicles parked on the newly refurbished surface of the plaza by Brooklyn Borough Hall. We checked in with Borough President Eric Adams’ office, and a spokesperson said that yes, the cars do belong to Adams and his staff.

He said the new granite surface can handle it:

Borough President Adams made sure when he funded the renovation of Borough Hall Plaza, one of his first priorities following his election, that the bluestone replacement would be a durable yet aesthetic material that could withstand the significant amount of civic and community activity, including vehicle use.

The borough president is missing an opportunity here. Illegal parking is a problem all over Downtown Brooklyn, largely because government workers endowed with placards park wherever they want. Between Borough Hall, the courts, and the preponderance of police, the neighborhood is littered with cars parked on pedestrian turf, obstructing fire hydrants, and hogging metered spots on commercial streets all day long.

Complacency breeds contempt for the rules. Bogus placards are everywhere, and legitimate placards are used in illegitimate ways. Just slap a piece of laminated paper on the dash and you can break all the parking laws known to man — even the ones that purportedly govern the placard system.

Eric Adams can’t snap his fingers and fix all of this, but he sets a powerful example. Former borough president Marty Markowitz was the living embodiment of official driving privileges that trump the law and public safety. He set the tone by parking on the Borough Hall plaza and speeding down Brooklyn streets with lights and sirens blaring for no apparent reason. What if the current borough president disavowed all that?

To change the culture of placards and official entitlement to park anywhere at any time, Brooklyn Borough Hall is a fine place to start.

  • Jeff

    Storing private automobiles passes for “civic and community activity”? That’s adorable.

  • Matthias

    I was about to post the exact same thing. What a load of crap.

  • Well then, surely I can leave my 18-wheeler parked there too. Or does the borough president intend this parking area to be for his own private use? If so, maybe he’d better paint the lines and install the signage to communicate that to the public. Make him own his decision.

  • You can’t stand up for Vision Zero and park cars in space meant for pedestrians. Period.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    somehow big shot corporate lawyers, investment bankers, movie moguls, and their trophy wives get around town without parking on pedestrian plazas. Yet, this politician thinks he is soooo important that he can

  • rao

    So, I assume nobody will mind if you bike through that plaza, right?

  • Brooklynite

    God forbid Eric Adams should have to pay a little bit and walk a little bit to store and access his vehicles in one of the many empty private garages all around Downtown Brooklyn.

  • Andrew

    But without guaranteed parking on the pedestrian plaza, how is anybody supposed to get to work? This is a transit desert, with merely the A, B, C, F, G, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains and the B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65, B63, B67, and B103 buses stopping within a half-mile walk (with the LIRR and several other subway and bus lines a mile away).


After $11M in Repairs, Is Borough Hall Plaza a Plaza, or a Parking Lot?

Bklyn. Borough Hall plaza almost redone. Now it returns to its intended purpose: parking. @StreetsblogNYC — Brian Howald (@bdhowald) November 20, 2015 This year, contractors hired by the Parks Department got to work replacing the bluestone in the plaza outside Brooklyn Borough Hall, which was busted up due in part to people — including […]

Eric Adams Proposes Downtown Brooklyn Car-Share Fleet for City Agencies

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is open to clearing Borough Hall Plaza of parked cars, and he also wants City Hall to study a car-share system for government agencies in Downtown Brooklyn. We reported last November that Adams and his staff resumed using the plaza as a parking lot after an $11 million rehab, following the lead of his predecessor, shameless space hog Marty […]

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 […]