SIDEWALKS ARE FOR WALKING, NOT PARKING FUCKING CARS – SO LEADERS DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BESIDES TALK AND INTRODUCING BILLS WHERE LAWS ARE ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.

Jamaica knows this problem too damn well and the bigger problem is a lack of enforcement and local elected officials not doing what they should be doing on this issue. And when you have a lack of proper enforcement for years and decades, when you have inefficient leadership, then everyone knows that they can pull this crap all the time, which is what those thug auto body shops on Merrick and other places in Jamaica know.

But if you are going to add this bill and it passes, which I doubt it will, too many of these auto places put money in useless and corrupt elected officials pockets, are the laws going to  be properly enforced.

Me, I am more for vandalizing these cars, which I have done several times on my blocks. Believe me, you do that on a regular basis, they will think twice before putting a car on a sidewalk or an unlicensed car on the street. It has been a long time since I have seen this unlicensed cars on my blocks.

STOP THE NONSENSE.

Service Request #: C1-1-871281201 With the clean-up Jamaica tag

Service Request #: C1-1-871281201
With the clean-up Jamaica tag

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

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Before

Before

After

After

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From Queens Times Ledger;

Van Bramer seeks to curb sidewalk parking

Bills would hit businesses ‘where it hurts’ for blocking pedestrians’ way

 

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2016 10:30 am | Updated: 12:42 pm, Thu May 26, 2016.

For most people, parked cars on city sidewalks are a regular inconvenience. But now, it may no longer be so easy to get away with.

City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) recently introduced two bills aimed at cracking down on businesses that park cars on sidewalks.

“When businesses use sidewalks as parking lots, it puts communities in danger,” the councilman said in a statement.

Van Bramer cites pedestrian safety as one of the main reasons for introducing the bills.

Often, he said, people are forced to walk out around the cars into some of the busiest streets in Queens, endangering their safety. He said that can be especially dangerous for the disabled or parents with children.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) said that she’s always been an advocate for not parking cars on the sidewalk.

“Sidewalks are for walking, not for parking or leaving cars on the sidewalks,” she said. Koslowitz said while she hasn’t received a tremendous amount of complaints regarding the issue, she does support the measures.

Problem areas exist all over the borough, though, from Northern Boulevard to Flushing Avenue to Merrick Boulevard. In a statement, Council Member Rafael Espinal Jr. (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee, said the legislation is “simply about pedestrian safety.”

Espinal is the co-prime sponsor of the bills.

“I value our small businesses and the services they provide to the local community, but people shouldn’t have to walk on the street or through a maze of cars to get from point A to point B,” he said. “Our city’s sidewalks are made for pedestrians, not for businesses to park their cars. This is an issue that has plagued many neighborhoods, especially in the outer boroughs and it’s time we take action.”

Parking on sidewalks is already illegal, but the $115 fine that comes with it has not stopped city businesses from doing it.

“Too often, these establishments figure in the occasional parking ticket as just a cost of doing business. We need to hit them where it hurts,” Van Bramer said. “My bills, introduced with Council Member Espinal, will increase fines and allow the Department of Consumer Affairs to suspend or revoke the business licenses of repeat violators. By punishing businesses in a real and tangible way, we can get cars off the sidewalks and keep communities safe.”

Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association in Middle Village, agrees.

“A $115 ticket is not a deterrent; most businesses who park vehicles on the sidewalk either don’t pay the fine or write it off as the cost of doing business,” Holden said.

One of the main issues with existing law, people say, is that it appears to not be enforced well.

In an email to the Chronicle, Joe Moretti, writer of the “Clean Up Jamaica Queens Now” website, said what is needed, as with most quality-of-life issues, is enforcement.

“And that we don’t have,” he said.

Van Bramer has also called the current laws “underenforced.” Moretti doesn’t think the new bills are necessary.

“This has been a problem for years, decades,” he wrote. “We don’t need a new bill, we already have laws on the books regarding parking on sidewalks.”

In 2011, the Chronicle followed the community’s issues with the practices at Star Nissan in Auburndale, including cars parked on the sidewalk. While the owner promised to make changes in favor of the community’s demands, cars are still parked on the sidewalk five years later, according to Henry Euler, first vice president of the Auburndale Improvement Association.

He said the issue is not limited to Star Nissan, claiming that multiple businesses in the area are guilty of the same offense.

“I have been told by the police that these dealerships have been repeatedly warned about this illegal practice and that vehicles have been towed at times,” Euler said. “The problem persists, however.”

Holden said similar problems exist in his area, where American Towing and Collision in Maspeth has been parking cars on the sidewalk for a long time. The civic organization has fought against it for over a decade, to no avail.

“Despite tickets, towing and a ton of press, they continue to block sidewalks in the community. Pedestrians have to walk through a maze to simply walk past the area,” Holden said. Company representatives could not be reached prior to the Chronicle’s deadline.

“Kudos to City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for identifying a longstanding problem and for coming up with a solution to remedy it,” Holden said. “Unfortunately, our Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, whose district has been plagued with this kind of situation, has not addressed it in her over eight years in office.” A spokeswoman for Crowley said she has not received any such complaints.

The first bill, Intro 1179-2016, would make parking on sidewalks or crosswalks a violation for several Department of Consumer Affairs-licensed businesses, including used car dealers, parking garages, parking lots, tow companies and car washes. The commissioner would suspend or revoke the licenses of businesses found in violation more than twice in one year.

Under the second bill, Intro 1180-2016, the commissioner of finance would implement increasing penalties for those who are repeat violators. Brian Zumhagen, spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, also praised the legislation.

“A city sidewalk is supposed to be a place where people can be without having to worry about dangerous traffic …” he said. “If we tolerate sidewalk parking, we’re just reinforcing the idea that there’s no place where pedestrians can be safe from cars.”

Aside from safety, Van Bramer cites structural damage to sidewalks as another danger, as they are not designed to hold the weight of vehicles.

 

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