March (Parking) Madness: A David vs. Goliath Battle of Police Rudeness in Brooklyn

Only one of these two precincts can advance, and we think we know which one it will be. Photos: Dave Colon
Only one of these two precincts can advance, and we think we know which one it will be. Photos: Dave Colon

Welcome to the second round of our annual March (Parking) Madness contest! Starting yesterday, we rolled out our first of four Borough Finals, having pared down the Shameful 16 down to the Hateful Eight. In Monday’s battle, the 110th Precinct in Queens has advanced to the Final Four. And for a reminder on why we do this contest, click here.

parking madness 2022 borough finals round firstNot unlike basketball’s version of a Cinderella story running headlong into an unmovable object, the Brooklyn finals features one precinct that’s bad but in a mildly irritating kind of way against one precinct where the officers act like they get bonuses not only for parking like jerks, but also for hosting an inordinate amount of vehicle crashes.

Yes, we’re headed to the Borough of Churches to check out some unholy parking.

84th Precinct (Downtown Brooklyn)

The 84th made it to the borough finals with a Soviet-like 85-percent-to-15-percent trouncing of the 66th Precinct in Boro Park. It must have been the presence of that rat that we saw near the Prince Street Dumpster.

Now, first, we have to get this out of the way with the 84th Precinct, because it’s such a weird stat. In the Gold, Tillary, Prince and John Street rectangle that surrounds the 84th Precinct, there were 219 crashes injuring two cyclists, three pedestrians and seven motorists between January 2017 and February 2022, which comes out to over 40 crashes per year just in one rectangular area in Brooklyn Heights.

Someone parked on the sidewalk next to one of the 84th Precinct's two parking lots.
Someone parked on the sidewalk next to one of the 84th Precinct’s two parking lots.

As a comparison, there were only 15 crashes with one injury in the area just north of the precinct bounded by Duffield, Tillary, Prince and Concord streets. It’s not as if Duffield Street or Gold Street north of Tillary Street is some uninhabited wasteland either: there are homes and an ongoing construction project and multiple curb cuts for driveways, yet somehow everyone driving through there doesn’t manage to constantly crash into things.

Are they playing bumper cars by the 84th stationhouse or something?

A row of cars parked half on the sidewalk on Johnson Street, around the corner from the 84th Precinct.
A row of cars parked half on the sidewalk on Johnson Street, around the corner from the 84th Precincthouse.

The other thing could be that the police themselves are just smashing into each other all day. Despite the fact that the 84th has two parking lots, cops at the precinct fill the sidewalks with combat- and parallel-parked cars.

A parking lot for the 84th Precinct to use doesn't stop anyone from parking on the sidewalk.
A parking lot for the 84th Precinct to use doesn’t stop anyone from parking on the sidewalk, as you can see.

Someone even managed to knock down the “Authorized Vehicles Only – Police Department ” sign on Prince Street, which of course was just left there to rot too.

Free sign for anyone with municipal irony poisoning.
Free sign for anyone with municipal irony poisoning.

Prince Street is, of course, had a public sidewalk, but good luck walking down it, what with large cars being parked basically against the parking lot wall.

There's not really any squeezing by here.
There’s not really any squeezing by here.

And while there weren’t rats just chewing up some garbage by a Dumpster this time around, the sidewalk on Prince was still just grimy and unkempt, not that you’d ever have a chance to find out about it because again, it’s impossible to get down the whole block.

Gross.
Gross.

Has it always been like this around the 84th? Well, Google Street View doesn’t have the powers of a literal time machine, but as you can see on the Prince Street side of things, the one “improvement” if you can call it that, is officers stopped combat parking on the east side of the street sometime after September 2016:

But they still love their Dumpster. Photos: Google
But they still love their Dumpster. Photos: Google

The 84th could really go all the way this year, though it doesn’t sound like something the area’s political representation is eager to brag about that.

“Placard permit holders and users of fake placards park illegally every day — and it’s simply the status quo,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler, who represents Brooklyn Heights. “These cars obstruct pedestrian space, endanger cyclists, and undermine safety on our streets. We are working on legislation to eliminate the seemingly unlimited number of placards handed out by city agencies, and I support the creation of a new special enforcement unit outside of NYPD dedicated to independently and aggressively enforcing placard abuse.”

Well said. Still, is the 8-4 worthy of a spot in the Fubar Four? Let’s see if today’s challenger can knock it off its disrespectful throne…

69th Precinct (Canarsie)

The 69th made it to the borough finals with a narrow and hardly decisive victory over the 83rd Precinct, a win that might have softened up Captain Khandakar Abdullah’s forces for today’s contest.

On our second visit to the 69th Precinct, things remained looking not so nice in the general vicinity of the precinct, with things were also basically reserved to the area surrounding the cop house. Of course, that doesn’t mean things around the precinct were good, unless you think parking an SUV in a curb cut is a good thing for some reason.

Police SUVs block the curb and crosswalk outside the 69th Precinct.
Police SUVs block the curb and crosswalk outside the 69th Precinct.

East 98th Street still had a lot of people who felt entitled to combat parking their cars on the sidewalk.

Most of the sidewalk cut off by cars parked outside the 69th Precinct.
Most of the sidewalk cut off by cars parked outside the 69th Precinct.

There was more garbage on the street this time as well, highlighted by a chair with someone’s name on the back. Why did Sanfratello’s chair get tossed out over there anyway? O, poor Sgt. Dina Sanfratello! (Well, not so poor, according to See Through NY.)

A personalized tossed out chair on the sidewalk outside the 69th Precinct.
A personalized tossed out chair on the sidewalk outside the 69th Precinct.

Also that Dumpster from the last visit was still there and this time it had a couple friends.

Good place to put your Dumpster and other assorted trash.
Good place to put your Dumpster and other assorted trash.

In fact, if you look back through the years on Google Street View, you can see that the Dumpster has basically always been there, going all the way back to 2011.

Photo: Google Street View
Photo: Google

You can also see that the curbside situation by the precincthouse has been so bad that the Street View car was following someone driving basically down the middle of the block on a two-way street, because why is anyone else going to park like a responsible adult if the police won’t do it.

Photo: Google Street View
Photo: Google

Looking at that picture, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn that the area surrounding the 69th Precinct has seen many more crashes in the recent past than even the one block area directly to the west of it. In the area bounded by Rockaway Parkway, Farragut Road, East 98th Street and Foster Avenue, there were 61 reported crashes between January 2017 and February 2022, injuring one pedestrian and 11 motorists. Just a block over, in the area bounded by Foster Avenue, East 95th Street, East 96th Street and Farragut Road, there were three crashes total in the same five-year period.

Before you vote below, here’s a picture that should tilt your opinion: Hours after this story was posted, our reporter spotted this 84th Precinct cop pull into the bike lane on Jay Street, park, get out, and go into the Dunkin Donuts shop between Fulton and Willoughby streets, forcing cyclists into the roadway:

Bad cop! No donut!
Bad cop! No donut!

So now which precinct should move onto the Fubar Four? Polls will remain open until Thursday at noon. Vote below:

So Which Precinct Goes to the Final Four?

  • The 84th (Downtown)? (84%, 63 Votes)
  • The 69th Precinct (Canarsie)? (16%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

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