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

Street Cheats: The Public Space Theft We Take for Granted

Public space theft in NYC is so pervasive that sometimes it barely registers, even when it should.

A tipster sent this photo of a Department of Homeless Services Police van hogging the crosswalk at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn. I write about placard culture for a living, and I have to admit that when I saw the pic above, my first thought was something along the lines of, "Yeah, and... ?"

This isn't the worst example of parking malfeasance we've seen, but it does matter. Not only is the van in the way of the crosswalk, it's also blocking sightlines at the intersection, making it harder for motorists and pedestrians to see each other.

It's also emblematic of how we've let motor vehicles saturate the curb until they encroach on spaces where they're not allowed. And most of the time we don't give it a second thought.

In fact, crosswalk parking is so common that DOT crews often memorialize it in paint...

https://twitter.com/BayRidgeDrivers/status/1002602720082190344

It may seem like a small thing, but crosswalk parking degrades the pedestrian environment, makes intersections more dangerous, and increases maintenance costs since striping crews can't finish the job in one go. We shouldn't accept that as an immutable fact of life.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024

Deal Reached: Hochul Says ‘Sammy’s Law’ Will Pass

The bill, though imperfect, has been four years in the making.

April 18, 2024
See all posts