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March (Parking) Madness: The Western Regional Final!

12:01 AM EDT on March 29, 2023

Well we're finally in the Final Four! This year's March (Parking) Madness has been the usual kind of tournament: There have been some major upsets (last year's contest winner loser, the 84th Precinct, was eliminated in the first round!), there have been some predictable results (Midtown South keeps cruising along) and more than a few Cinderella stories (how about that 75th Precinct outta East New York!). Today, we'll start with the Western Regional Final, featuring The Bronx's best worst against the pride nadir of Manhattan. Polls will remain open until Friday at noon.

The contest so far. Click to enlarge.

Two very distant — and different — precincts battle it out in this Western Regional final. 

After Midtown South bested the 26th Precinct last week, it’s now taking on the champion of the Bronx, the 43rd Precinct. 

It’s pretty clear to us at Streetsblog which is a worse neighbor, but it’s up to you to decide. So which precinct do you think should ultimately advance to the finals?

Remember to vote down below. 

Midtown South

Midtown South station house.
Midtown South station house.

No one likes going to Midtown, and it’s no wonder why! The surroundings of Midtown South are an abyss of cars, trash, and more cars — some badly banged up after clearly having been in a crash.

Despite being just a quick walk from Penn Station, home to the LIRR and multiple subway lines, cops from the Midtown South station house still dump their personal cars everywhere on W. 35th Street. 

Though not as egregious as some of its outer borough sister stations, it’s still pretty damn disrespectful to park on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to either squeeze past the cars, or step into traffic. 

Cops from Midtown South Park on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to squeeze past.
Cops from Midtown South Park on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to squeeze past.

One perp with an NYPD placard on its dash etched out one of the numbers on the license plate — allowing him or her to evade speed and red light cameras, and basic accountability. But only after the car had already been nabbed with 23 speed camera tickets since 2014, according to city records via How's My Driving. 

What happened to that last digit?
What happened to that last digit? Where is Gersh Kuntzman when you need him?

The precinct may be relatively more tame than some of its Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx counterparts, but things take a turn for the worse when you make a left onto Ninth Avenue and see an entire turning lane blocked by NYPD squad cars. 

Cops from Midtown South precinct park in the middle of Ninth Avenue.
Cops from Midtown South precinct park in the middle of Ninth Avenue. Yes, those cars are parked.

But is all this horrible, unneighborly behavior enough to get Deputy Inspector Aaron Edwards troops into the finals? Read on...

43rd Precinct (Soundview)

The 43rd Precinct house.
The 43rd Precinct house.

This Bronx precinct clearly still hasn’t learned its lesson!

Cops from the 43rd station house, which is under the command of Deputy Inspector Carlos Peralta, dump their personal cars and squad cars literally everywhere — in the crosswalk, on the sidewalk, in front of fire hydrants, and even on some grass outside a public housing complex. 

Squad cars in the crosswalk outside the 43rd Precinct house.

And things are only made worse by the precinct’s neighbor, FDNY Engine 96 — where New York’s Bravest copy the rule-breaking of New York’s Finest, who set the discordant tone. 

But bus riders are the real losers around the Boogie Down station house, where cops have no respect for the red bus-only lanes on Story Avenue, forcing the popular Bx5 line to weave into regular traffic, while straphangers have to step out into the street to board and exit the bus. It’s no wonder why the neighborhood ranks 43rd out of the city’s 59 community boards for bus speeds.

And across the street at Clason Point Gardens, officers are still taking up illegal parking spots — sans license plates — inside the low-rise public housing complex. It’s such a regular occurrence that a patch of what should be grass has been reduced to dirt.  

This patch of grass makes the perfect spot for these cops.
This patch of grass makes the perfect spot for this disrespectful cop.

But it wasn’t all bad. One (cute) addition to the area were the two kittens that have taken up residence in the bushes outside the Fteley Avenue station house. Fortunately for neighbors, they don't drive. But like the cops, these cats are strictly feral (one had even lost one of his eyes — we nicknamed him Sir Pawco. Get it?).

Where'd they go? Adorable kittens that were once outside the 43rd Precinct.

Don't let the cute cats fool you — the cops at the 43rd Precinct are ugly dogs when it comes to the streets around their posting.

But enough about them — it's time to vote:

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