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Wednesday’s Headlines: S-Cop-Laws Edition

Watch what happens when members of Community Board 7 challenged a precinct sergeant to explain why cops illegally park all over.

12:00 AM EDT on November 1, 2023

Even if you don't live near the 20th Precincthouse, you gotta read this story in the West Side Rag!

The fun started when members of Community Board 7 challenged a precinct sergeant to explain why cops illegally park on the streets around the station house.

The officer, whose name the paper didn't seem to catch, admitted straight out that "all of those [double-parked] vehicles are personal vehicles of the officers assigned here," he said.

In short order, the sergeant revealed that officers illegally park even though precinct brass tells them not to, and officers would park further from the stationhouse except that they're afraid that their cars will be vandalized.

The best moment? When Nicole Paynter of the Columbus Amsterdam Business Improvement District asked why cops can't use public transportation to get a precinct that features multiple subway lines.

“I can’t tell all the officers they need to take mass transit,” the sergeant responded, according to the Rag. “I’m sure just like you, everybody has a family, some have childcare issues that after work they have to drive and pick up their children.”

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers get their kids to child care or school every morning and manage to get them home every night without using a car, but then again, those people live in New York; 47 percent of officers at this Upper West Side precinct don't live in the five boroughs, the paper reported.

Parking problems aren't the only thing that's frustrating here. As Streetsblog reported police drive their personal vehicles a lot more dangerously than the general public. And their driving causes congestion, pollution, anti-social behavior and all the other attendant ills of the auto.

So once again, being a cop in this city means, "We’re just going to drive, so you just have to deal with it."

In other news:

  • The big story yesterday was the class action suit against the city's outdoor dining program. The suit, which had been tossed earlier on a technicality, says the city should be forced to conduct an environmental impact statement to allow restaurants to take up space often occupied for free by cars (which never got their environmental impact statement). (amNY)
  • Meanwhile, Commuity Board 1 member Jess Coleman had a hot take:
  • The city DOT has spent a lot of time talking about covering a stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway through tony Brooklyn Heights with a park, but on Monday, it presented some nifty plans for the trench cutting through Williamsburg. Too bad that part is controlled by the highway-loving state DOT. (Gothamist)
  • The Village Sun found a way to be annoyed by "dystopian" public art about climate change. (Isn't that the point?!).
  • The drunk driver who killed NYPD cop Anastasios Tsakos on a Queens highway in 2021 was convicted on aggravated manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash, serious charges due to the driver also being drunk. (NYDN)
It has sunset.Graphic: Streetsblog Photoshop Desk
  • Even BoroPark24 is upset about the demise of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, which the outlet blamed on DOT's "ineptitude at administering the program." Wow!
  • Thirty cops have been warned this year by NYPD brass about how they conduct car chases, the Daily News reported, "raising questions about safety measures taken by the department when it goes after fleeing suspects."
  • And, finally, public space came alive thanks to the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (NY Post), but we found our favorite costume deep underground in Brooklyn (and don't forget Sunday's marathon, yet another great reason for car-free streets):

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