MARCH PARKING MADNESS 2021: Fill in Your Bracket to End the Scourge of NYPD Disrespect
Residents of New York City do not need to consult a map to know when they are near an NYPD station house — they merely have to look at the chaos.
Junked cars blocking hydrants. Police officers’ personal vehicles scattered wily nily in crosswalks, traffic triangles, pedestrian zones. Garbage piled up in streets and under all the illegally parked vehicles. Cops’ cars double- and triple-parked on side streets in a manner that turns quiet residential blocks into 24-7 parking lots.
Squad cars combat-parked, fortress style, in front of the station house door.
Let that term sink in a bit.
Is there anything that symbolizes the NYPD’s contempt for its neighbors than the sight of aggressive NYPD SUVs and unmarked muscle cars parked perpendicularly on the sidewalk, narrowing the roadway for everyone else and leaving no room to pass for the handicapped or the elderly?
It’s as if the precinct is laughing at residents of the block, mocking them with the sheer, disgusting show of power.
- At the 40th Precinct in The Bronx, the cops even combat-park two squad cars as sentinels — but unlike the lions at the New York Public Library, these monuments are not called Patience and Fortitude. No, more likely their names are Disrespect and Chaos. Or Cowardice and Fear. Or maybe just Cock and Balls.
- At the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, there are so many police vehicles filling the narrow neighborhood streets that cops illegally park even in people’s own driveways.
- At the 70th Precinct in Midwood, the elderly are forced into the street just to go shopping.
- At the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown, one cop is so brazen that he puts his station wagon wherever he wants — and doesn’t care if the neighbors see all the white supremacist stickers on it.
These are just some of the many examples of how the NYPD treats the community it has sworn to protect and serve with courtesy, professionalism and respect.
When it comes to their vehicles, the NYPD literally follows none of those words. Streetsblog has already documented that police officers and NYPD employees drive recklessly at twice the rate of the general public, a series that led the de Blasio administration to announce a reform that would strip cops of their parking privileges if they speed or run red lights.
Of course, that was an empty promise, as this mayor has no stomach to take on NYPD car culture. But take it on he must; NYPD placard abuse and vehicular disrespect is the entry level corruption that festers and grows if not sanitized immediately. Just as the NYPD promotes the “Broken Windows Theory,” it need not look beyond its own smashed fenestration to know that it has a problem.
Hence, our annual March (Parking) Madness competition. We’ve combed our tips line and reached out to our many far-flung correspondents and come up with a Sour 16 of competitors this year. Over the next week, we’ll roll out the first-round battles and keep you posted on how our readers voted.
The precinct that ends up as the greatest abuser of public space will get a fancy trophy, courtesy of Streetsblog.
Today, we kick off our series with two matchups: A Queens clash pitting the 110th and 115th precincts and a Bronx battle pitting the 40th and 42nd precincts. At the end of the write-up, readers will be invited to vote for which precinct deserves, by sheer dint of its disrespect to its neighbors, to move onto the second round.
So click the links below for today’s contests (and vote through Wednesday!):