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STREETSBLOG GETS ACTION: NYPD Cops Finally Stop Parking in the Bus Stop on Frederick Douglass Blvd.

12:01 AM EDT on August 18, 2020

Finally! There’s not a cop car in sight at the M10 bus stop on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Photo: Adam Light

There's finally some good news for frustrated bus riders in Harlem — police have stopped illegally parking in an M10 bus stop.

One week after Streetsblog's story on the illegal placard parking by Housing Bureau officers at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 147th Street, the officers have finally removed their vehicles — which had been parked perpendicular to cram more of them in — from the M10 bus stop there. Streetsblog's story led CBS2 reporter Marsha Kramer to ask Mayor de Blasio about it, getting the mayor to finally take action.

Within a few days, someone put out barricades to make it clear that cops can no longer treat a regular bus stop like their own private parking lot. The only question is: why was this so hard?

How Streetsblog handled the story.
How Streetsblog handled the story.

"I was impressed that [it] got it fixed" from just that one question to the mayor, said Harlem resident Glenn Ford, adding that the problem might have been solved, but the larger issues linger.

"Police officers represent the law, and they knew they were doing something illegal. Why did they have to have someone else remind them?" he said. "It's irresponsible. ... [It isn't] the right thing to do. No one is above the law, right?"

Resident Wendy Frank, who has called 311 numerous times about the problems, considered the cleared bus stop a "miracle," but would prefer something more permanent than barricades. "I don't understand why they don't paint the bus stop so that people wouldn't park in it. Could that be the next step? How expensive could some paint be?"

And just because cops have stopped parking in the bus stop doesn't mean illegal parking is a thing of the past. Most of the cars parked on Frederick Douglass Boulevard have police placards and are parked sideways, effectively reducing the space of the roadway from four to two lanes.

There are no signs on the block stating the parking rules, suggesting that either the Department of Transportation is complicit in allowing police to cram their cars perpendicular or someone removed the signs. (On Monday, officers at the Housing Bureau refused to comment.)

The actual removal of the police officers' cars from the bus stop didn't come without some controversy. After the mayor finally said he would do something about the problem, officers at the Housing Bureau station house were apparently alerted that the jig was finally up.

Friend of Streetsblog Jeff Novich happened to be on the scene as an officer was apparently giving tickets to members of the public who, believing the spots were merely vacant, filled them after the cops had pulled out.

Novich's Twitter thread reveals a broken system of justice:

But at least the police have stopped parking in that one bus stop. One problem down, a few hundred thousand to go.

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