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MARCH (PARKING) MADNESS FINAL FOUR MATCHUP: The 34th vs. The 52nd

parking madness 2021 NYPD final four

Finally, the week you've been waiting for: The Final Four.

We've pared down the 16 first-round competitors to just four elite disrespectful NYPD precincts that distinguish themselves by complete and abject disregard for their neighbors (or, really, any outward show of professionalism at all). To get here, each of our Final Four contestants have exhibited levels of vehicular chaos one might expect in a demolition derby.

We'll have two primo regional final matchups for you, starting today with our west regional, pitting Bronx champions the 52nd Precinct vs. the Manhattan champs at the 34th Precinct.

And later this week, our east regional will feature the Cinderella of this ball, the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn against everyone's favorite, the 114th in Queens.

Here's a recap on how everyone got here (see bracket above). Now, let's kick it off with our first Final Four matchup: the west regional:

34th Precinct (Washington Heights)

If you're a fan of the fortress mentality of modern policing, have we got a precinct for you!

It's not that Deputy Inspector Peter Andrea's cops are particularly disrespectful to their Washington Heights neighbors — it's just that there's so much combat parking going on in front of, and on the side streets around, the Broadway station house that building appears to sit in a mechanized perimeter of combat-parked cars.

Here's the precinct block in a handy slideshow:

And here's what kind of conditions that combat parking creates — check out this cyclist forced around a double-parked truck into oncoming traffic:

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

It's not just the precinct block; cops at the 34th have also commandeered side streets with their combat parking. Here's a shot of W. 182nd Street, but most of the roadways around the 3-4 look the same:

messy 182nd

Naturally, there are plenty of the usual lawbreakers around the 34th, including a cop at a hydrant, a cop with a defaced license plate, and a cop's car with a "Blue Lives Matter" sticker who has nine camera-issued speeding tickets and one camera-issued red-light ticket on his record. (Camera-issued tickets can't be discouraged from issuing the summons if you flash a placard, vest or PBA card.)

But of all the egregious parking we saw at the 34th Precinct on Monday, these two pictures tell you everything you need to know about the perniciousness of the NYPD placard class:

The black car, with an NYPD-issued placard, is parked illegally at a hydrant. The silver car is parked in an NYPD-only spot, but without an NYPD placard. Which one got the ticket?

Well played, sir. Well played. But truth be told, the 34th Precinct didn't seem to bring its A game at this most crucial time. Heck, they didn't even have an officer follow around our reporter this time (not like last time!). So will Andrea's efforts be enough to defeat The Bronx champions and move onto the contest final? We'll see...

52nd Precinct (Norwood)

It would be easy to say that Deputy Inspector Thomas Alps's officers were also due for a let-down, given that there really was nowhere to go but down for the so-called "Neatherthals of Norwood," who never met a sidewalk bus lane or curb cut they wouldn't park a car on.

But these officers came to play! Just as we found them last week, there were plenty of squad cars parked in the Webster Avenue dedicated bus lane, creating traffic that the bus lane was designed to alleviate. Here's what that looks like:

Oh, and you might have noticed some junked cars in the background of those photos. This precinct excels at leaving junked cars all over the neighborhood (which, other than the station house, is actually a really nice place). Here are just a few:

But is the 52nd taking this contest seriously? Sometimes we're not sure. Last week, the cops left a sawhorse blocking a wheelchair ramp. But on Monday, with the pressure of the Final Four matchup upon them, cops cleared the way for the disabled:

they cleared the curb cut

And the Moshulu Parkway overpass that is often a fourth parking lot for this station house? On Monday, it was empty!

still no parking on overpass

Sure, these two west regional finalists deserve to be where they are today — one victory away from competing for the title of Worst Precinct in the City 2021 — but which one really showed up, and which one phoned it in?

You get to decide. Polls are open until Thursday at 4 p.m. Vote!

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