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March (Parking) Madness: The 102nd vs 106th is an Epic Battle for the Soul of Queens

This is the eighth and final first-round battle in our March (Parking) Madness contest. In our earlier bouts, sidewalk-hogging 71st Precinct in Crown Heights beat its colleagues in Bath Beach, the 43rd Precinct of Soundview advanced in its first-round matchup in the Bronx, the Midtown South Precinct triumphed over its neighbor to the north in our epic Battle of Midtown, the 47th beat the the 49th in the Bronx;, the 75th Precinct, a repulsive newcomer, won our other Brooklyn battle; the 26th Precinct beat the Ninth Precinct in Manhattan and the 101st Precinct beat out its Rockaway neighbor, the 100th, in our first-ever "Battle of the Beach." Scroll to the bottom of this post to vote and cement the rankings in our borough finals round. Polls will remain open until Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

This final first-round battle was worth waiting for!

In the 102nd Precinct of Richmond Hill, Queens, you're confronted by astoundingly bad manners and bad driving.

At the 106th Precinct just to the south in Ozone Park, you're confounded by filthy and disrespect.

It's really hard to choose. So read the descriptions below and remember to vote.

And check the chart to the right to see where the contest is so far.

102nd Precinct (Richmond Hill)

The 102nd Precinct house is on 118th Street in Queens.
The 102nd Precinct house is on 118th Street in Queens.
The 102nd Precinct house is on 118th Street in Queens.

The first thing you notice when arrive in the area of the 102nd Precinct is cars. They're everywhere: In front of a hydrant, illegally parked with a fake badge on the dashboard, combat parked so close to people's front doors that the residents need to squeeze to get inside their own homes (!), and parked in other people's driveways.

Captain Jeremy R. Kivlin's troops certainly love their cars.

This station house is one of the few in New York City that is not only on an otherwise quiet residential block, but smack dab in the middle. Were it not for the station house, 118th Street south of Jamaica and Myrtle avenues would be a welcome respite from the teaming roadways to the north.

But it's not because of the cops.

Let's open with a slideshow featuring yards and yards of space filled with combat-parked cop cars where residents would normally expect to put their own:

One cop returning from a pizza run (we're not joking — he literally got out of the squad car with the pizza box) left his car in someone's driveway, making pedestrians squeeze past.

This was a car left by a cop on a pizza run.
This was a car left by a cop on a pizza run. A pizza run.
This was a car left by a cop on a pizza run.

The culture of lawlessness is everywhere around the station house. Here's a cop who decided to park at a hydrant. We ran his plate — and he's parked illegally in bus lanes three times.

Also, come on, that's a true dickmobile.
Also, come on, that's a true dickmobile.
Also, come on, that's a true dickmobile.

And what about this guy, who parks in the station house parking lot with the thin-blue-line stickers ... and the five speeding tickets (law and order for everyone but himself, right?)

This guy who apparently loves law and order has five speeding tickets.

And then there's the guy who avoids lots of tickets — at least the ones issued by humans — because of his courtesy card on the windshield:

In addition to all those other cops, we also spotted these officers who use their personal vehicles as weapons through city school zones:

And, finally, a cop with a long record of transgressions with an illegal out-of-state plate that had been illegally defaced and was no longer legally registered:

Yet for some reason, this is all OK with the NYPD and its Nassau-County-residing police commissioner. But will it be awful enough to impress disgust voters? Let's see:

106th Precinct (Ozone Park)

The 106th station house. Photo: David Meyer
The 106th station house. Photo: David Meyer
The 106th station house. Photo: David Meyer
Nicholas Demutiis
Nicholas Demutiis
Nicholas Demutiis

The 106th Precinct house in Queens sits on a side street by the Liberty Avenue elevated A train tracks, a short walk from two subway stops and an even shorter walk from Nicholas Demutiis Park — so named for an officer from the precinct who in 1994 "was struck and killed by an automobile while attempting to block a suspect who was fleeing from police," according to an online memorial page.

Officer Demutiis's colleagues have not honored his legacy, however — leaving their personal and NYPD vehicles all over the sidewalks on Liberty Avenue, outside their precinct house on 101st Street, and even, horrifyingly, right on top of one of the entrances to Nicholas Demutiis Park:

Streetsblog visited the 106th last week and spotted several parking placards and other insignia identifying vehicles as the property of cops, but many more without placards.

The entire area is a swamp of illegal sidewalk and angle parking, with officers' cars spilled out onto the sidewalks of Liberty Avenue one block in either direction, inspiring the employees of nearby auto body shops and towing lots to leave their cars on the sidewalk as well.

Cops under the leadership of Captain Jerome Bacchi have essentially erased the pedestrian right of way on 101st Street with their angle-parked cars, leaving no room for pedestrians. Kids and families who use the park — and employees of the precinct themselves — must walk in the roadway to get anywhere. Streetsblog observed multiple people forced to do that dance on Thursday, including cops from the precinct walking home to the train.

The vehicles line the sidewalks of two of the four sides of Nicholas Demutiis Park.

The MTA, meanwhile. has the distinct honor of hosting some of the vehicles recovered from crashes by precinct cops. One such vehicle had its entire insides exposed — right underneath the stairs of the 104th Street subway station, and barely 10 feet from the park.

We're sure the MTA appreciates the NYPD's neighborliness here...
We're sure the MTA appreciates the NYPD's neighborliness here...
We're sure the MTA appreciates the NYPD's neighborliness here...

Cops who leave their cars around the 106th Precinct have accumulated hundreds of parking, speeding, red light and bus lane violations, according to public data. Most of them committed their violations within the borders of the district they police, the data show.

Several of the drivers had amassed all their tickets close by. An SUV with an NYPD placard backed onto the sidewalk received five speed-camera tickets and one bus lane violations since 2020 — all on nearby Atlantic Avenue, Woodhaven Boulevard, 102nd Street and 111th Street.

One sedan blocking the crosswalk down the street from the 106th at corner of 101st Street and 103rd Avenue had a whopping 50 violations dating back to 2015, including 15 speed camera violations over that time. Another had 13 speed zone violations dating back to 2021.

Precinct cops even dabble in criminal mischief, it seems. A Nissan Rogue parked on 101st Street with a faded plate has not received a violation since 2021 — likely because cameras can't read the plate.

The only passable part of the sidewalk was directly outside the precinct, where Captain Bacchi has apparently decided it best to leave some space on the sidewalk for people to enter and exit the building — though scaffolding that makes it impossible to back onto the curb might also have something to do with it.

So it's time to vote!

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