Rogues’ Gallery of Street Cheats Endanger People Outside Inwood Park and Playground

An out-of-the-way no parking zone next to the Inwood Hill Park playground has become a hotbed of public space theft for Street Cheats like this NYPD placard-holder.
An out-of-the-way no parking zone next to the Inwood Hill Park playground has become a hotbed of public space theft for Street Cheats like this NYPD placard-holder.

Indian Road is a one-way two-block stub of a street that parallels Seaman Avenue in Inwood. Flanked by apartments and Inwood Hill Park, “the only ‘road’ in Manhattan” intersects with W. 218th Street at the northwest corner of the island.

The park, the residential buildings, and the narrowness of the street, which for most of its length has parking on both sides, all cue motorists to proceed with care. Nevertheless, drivers often punch the accelerator after rounding the corner from 218th, headed toward the park’s very popular playground at Indian Road’s southern terminus, where a sharp left onto W. 214th Street, which leads to Seaman, hinders visibility.

The park, the playground, and the blind corner are probably why there’s a no parking zone, about two car-lengths long, on the east side of Indian between W. 215th and W. 214th streets. It’s in an out-of-the-way spot, but lately more and more placard-holding government employees — and pretenders with fake placards and other pseudo-official-looking dashboard miscellanea — seem to have discovered it.

Here’s a sampling:

State court officer on official business at 7:20 a.m., miles from the nearest courthouse? OK!
State court officer on official business at 7:20 a.m., miles from the nearest courthouse? OK!
No more room on the sidewalk outside the 30th Precinct station house, looks like.
No more room on the sidewalk outside the 30th Precinct station house, looks like.
Pennsylvania plates and an MTA vest? Seems legit!
Pennsylvania plates and an MTA vest? Seems legit!
This recidivist Street Cheat and habitual law-breaker sports an MTA windshield sticker in addition to the vest, to make it extra-official.
This recidivist Street Cheat and habitual law-breaker sports an MTA windshield sticker in addition to the vest, to make it extra-official.
And my personal favorite: Jersey DEA agent, or rando with a novelty hat? Whatever works!
And my personal favorite: Jersey DEA agent, or rando with a novelty hat? Whatever works!

Since our tipster began documenting this surge of scofflaws a couple of months ago, NYPD parking enforcement was evident only once, when a disgruntled Street Cheat signaled loud and clear what he or she thinks of being penalized for stealing curb space:

indianrd-tix-600

  • djx

    How about a little professional courtesy toward the men and women in blue, who every day are ready to lay their lives on the line for you?! How about that? Most dangerous job in the city, never knowing if they’re coming home in a box. Why are you siding with thugs and lowlifes against NYC’s Finest! You’d probably be the first to complain when you need help from the boys in blue and they don’t get there fast enough. Sheesh. Give them some courtesy and respect.

  • BrandonWC

    Spot on parody of the entitlement of the placard class. A+

  • Adrian Benepe

    Almost none of these cheaters is an actual police officer, and regardless, this is not anywhere near a Police Precinct, where they get to abuse privileges with impunity.

  • BubbaJoe123

    They’re police officers. Their job is to UPHOLD the law. So, they should be held to a HIGHER standard than the public at large. IRS employees don’t get a free pass to cheat on their taxes. Attempting to evade parking laws only creates contempt for the law, and completely undermines the mission of the police department.

    This assumes, of course, that they’re actually police officers.

  • Joe R.

    I’m pretty sure it’s parody. Incidentally, I’m inclined to give the police a free pass on lots of things, including the benefit of the doubt when they use their weapons, but I totally agree their job doesn’t give them a free pass to break laws the rest of us must abide by. If we let them evade parking laws, then what’s next? Do they get a free pass to rape people? Yes, they should be held to a higher standard when it comes to obeying the law. That includes not going through red lights unless they’re responding to a crime and their sirens are on.

  • Tooscrapps

    Parody aside, this would pretty accurate if it was about sanitation workers.

  • Scroller

    A cop’s job is to protect the innocent, and we are all innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, unless someone is waving a gun at a crowd of people where other innocent bystanders are, there is rarely a justified use of a weapon. If cops don’t want to put their life on the line, then they should get another job, because at the moment, our lives, innocent lives, are on the line because cops refuse to uphold their oaths and would rather kill a person without trial than risk their own lives.

  • Ian Turner

    Most dangerous job in the city is taxi driver, last I heard.

  • Ian Turner

    Poe’s law.

  • Joe R.

    I’m the last person here who will make excuses for police officers using excessive force, whether lethal or non-lethal. Rather, I was simply saying a lot of police shootings aren’t as clear cut as the example you described, and when they’re not, I’m inclined to give the cop the benefit of the doubt. For instance, you might have a perp holding something at night in an alley with poor lighting. Could be a gun, could be a knife, could just be an old sock. It might be impossible to ascertain which in time to prevent it from being used against the cop. So the cop might order the suspect to raise his/her hands immediately to void any potential threat. If they do, no justification for using force. If they hesitate, or worse, point the object in the direction of the cop, the cop has to take them out as a matter of self-defense. Even if it’s later found the object was an old sock, the officer acted within his/her authority.

    That said, there have been a lot of police shootings which weren’t justified as the perp didn’t pose an immediate threat. And my larger concern isn’t improper use of lethal force, which is still actually pretty rare, but rather improper use of non-lethal force. This is sadly pretty common among the NYPD. It really needs to be dealt with as it erodes trust between the police and the public.

  • MyBrooklyn1

    These people are imbeciles, next time they need help they should call their local street crack head for help

  • Brad Aaron

    Or how about police just start obeying the law.

  • DoctorMemory

    Pretty sure it’s garbageman, but taxi driver is probably up there.

    In any case, it’s certainly not cop.

  • Stop saying “perp”.

  • 19cibaoman75

    i remember my youth in washington heights & inwood, no one parked in bus stops, subway entrances, churches and no standing/no parking zones not even off duty city/state employees. i was recently walking on fort washington ave between 177st & 180th street which has been a no parking zone for years and it’s a disgrace. cars with placards fake or real, an out of state monster truck with no placard etc. there is always a cop pulling people over in that vicinity for different driving infractions. how about every hr doing a walk around and ticketing these cars

  • These placard holders (and placard fakers) aren’t the only ones who are parking illegally. We also face the chronic problem of parking on reclaimed pedestrian space.

    There is one particular spot near where I live that always has at least one car parked in it, sometimes two or three. It is on the northbound side of Woodhaven Boulevard, between 82nd Road and 83rd Avenue (see map), in a triangular section of street that has been painted to be the equivalent of a sidewalk.

    Here is a picture of that location at a relatively “good” moment, when there is only one car parked on it:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f34102d695511610e2cca46ea6767d2933e3216f4f83ab98ebf14f11c753db34.png

    Oddly, the latest image of that spot from that angle that can be found on Google Maps dates from 11 years ago.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b05235328d967d23fb26567b4c351f68e067746a11cf8ac981547ce37abc74c5.png

    From this we can see the irony that there were no cars parked in that spot before. The DOT intended to create new pedestrian space; it did not intend to create a new parking lot!

    I have called the 104th Precinct several times about this. And I even went there yesterday, and showed them the picture attached above. To my surprise, an officer called me back, and asked me to meet him at the location. So I cut off my intended bike ride, and sped back to the spot.

    The encounter with the officer was both discouraging and hopeful. By the time he and I got to the location, there were two cars on the painted sidewalk (including the very same car from this picture that had been taken the previous day; this guy evidently thinks that that’s his personal spot). What was discouraging was that the officer didn’t grasp that this was a sidewalk; in fact he disputed that assertion. I implored him to check with the DOT on the question of reclamed pedestrian space, and assured him that these painted areas are to be treated the same as if they were made out of concrete like a normal sidewalk. It is frankly shocking that the police don’t know this.

    The hopeful thing was that he ultimately decided to give at least one of the cars a ticket for double parking. Even though that’s not the right rationale, I was happy that he did something.

    Not wanting to press my luck and be perceived as hounding the officer, I thanked him and rode off; so I don’t know whether he wound up ticketing both cars. Still, this illustrates the importance of enforcement, as well as the fact that the police are very poorly informed.

    I have also contacted the office of City Council Member Robert Holden. His assistant asked me to send her information and picturs. So let’s see if that gets the police to take a more serious look at the matter.

    (And some coverage by Streetsblog couldn’t hurt!)

  • AMH

    Yes, I see this all the time and the police don’t even notice it (not that they ticket anyone who parks up on the curb either). Flex-posts are completely inadequate.

  • Right. Half the flex posts surrounding this space are knocked down. (But there’s space to drive between them, anyway.)

    The irony that the parking began only after the “reclaimed pedestrian space” went in is just too damn much.

    Anyway, without enforcement, all of these efforts are totally futile.

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