Street Cheats: Parking Enforcement in Downtown Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Cadman Plaza by Brooklyn Borough Hall, where taxpayers paid $11M to fix vehicle damage caused by illegally parked government workers.
Cadman Plaza by Brooklyn Borough Hall, where taxpayers paid $11M to fix vehicle damage caused by illegally parked government workers.

Today’s installment of Street Cheats takes us to Downtown Brooklyn, where city workers are using a rehabbed Cadman Plaza as their personal parking lot and NYPD has ceded Red Hook Lane sidewalks to government employees and other space hogging randos.

The section of Cadman Plaza pictured above is next to Brooklyn Borough Hall. You might remember that the public recently paid $11 million to resurface the plaza after years of vehicular abuse during the Marty Markowitz era. The status quo continues under Markowitz successor Eric Adams.

A couple of blocks east, our tipster has waged a months-long battle to prod the 84th Precinct to get cars off the sidewalk on Red Hook Lane:


“I have been reporting it to 311 for almost a year and NYPD closes my complaints with no action,” he writes. “Multiple vehicles are parking illegally on the sidewalk every weekday. This includes work trucks, private vehicles, city vehicles with placards (which do not allow sidewalk parking), and private vehicles with fake or illegal placards.”


This location is around the corner from the car-clogged Livingston Street bus lane, where NYPD looks the other way as illegally parked drivers force thousands of bus riders to sit in traffic.

Tired of Street Cheats stealing public space where you are? Send your photos to, and follow along as we map NYC placard abuse.

  • Carl S

    The one time I got a response to parking on a sidewalk was when I sent the e-mail to the police commissioner rather than go through 311. In doing so, I complained about the fact that my calls to 311 were being closed for ridiculous reasons such as there being parking spots there even though a sign said no standing anytime.

  • ganghiscon

    I’ve also been reporting sidewalk parking to the 84th Precinct for the past year (I work in Dumbo). They generally close the ticket 10-12 hours later, long after the violator has left. But I did have an officer call me one time when I complained about a moving van. She said that she refuses to ticket anyone who’s “doing a job.” I explained to her that the moving van was parked on that particular sidewalk for seven or eight hours and that the back door hadn’t been opened once in that period, but she was still adamant that work truck = no ticket. She was mostly upset about how in my second report (after they closed the first with no action) I said something to the effect of, “Stop bullshitting me and do something about this truck.”

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Bollards are the solution. Just don’t give people the choice. Claim it is to stop terrorism, or some fake reason people can’t don’t argue with.

  • Ken Dodd

    I once called the 9th precinct to report two ice cream trucks parked completely over the crosswalk on either side of Broadway and 14th. The officer refused to accept that it was illegal and kept asking me “are they on the sidewalk.” I said no, they’re completely blocking the crosswalk to the point where mothers with strollers are venturing almost into the traffic on 14th to get around them. She told me, quite adamantly, that parking on a crosswalk wasn’t illegal because “they’re just making a living and that ain’t illegal.” It boggles the mind to think of how many injustices take place in this city on a daily basis because of hopelessly ignorant NYPD cops who don’t know the first thing about the laws they’re paid to enforce.

  • Ken Dodd

    Well, there’s an even better solution – tow their cars and impound them. No need for bollards.

  • Adrian Horczak

    Politicians aren’t concerned about illegally parked cars, so you can’t expect cars to be towed. But they are concerned about terrorism. The bollards idea could work.

  • Brad,

    Red Hook Lane even has some Streetfilms history. This film was posted waaaaaaaaay back in 2006 by one of my colleagues. Amazing. Still shitty!

  • Vooch

    The terror angle should be a winner. Also through in some “our heros” lingo.

    Video of bollards humor:

  • Andrew

    Oh, the police know quite well that it’s illegal to park in the crosswalk, even to make a living. They just don’t care.

    There are plenty of laws that we all need to abide by while making a living. We don’t get to ignore them just because we’re making a living.

  • NYCyclist

    As they are becoming less expensive and more commonplace, I’m surprised some enterprising person hasn’t figured out a way to fly a drone affixed with dripping paint cans above the vehicles. But that would be a terrible thing to do!


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