Southern Brooklyn drivers are circling the block looking for parking because of unscrupulous car dealers, who are stashing the unsold inventory on side streets throughout the neighborhood, according to the local city councilman.
“When you see a car on your block that has been there for six months — it is upsetting,” said Alan Maisel (D—Canarsie). “While we are waiting for the cars to be taken off the streets, they are taking up parking spots.”
The car-dense neighborhoods of Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Flatlands have seen an influx of vehicles with out-of-state plates parking on residential blocks, which are sitting unmoved for months at a time, according to one civic leader.
“Last Tuesday morning... I counted 30 cars with out-of-state plates,” said Ed Jaworski, the president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association. “These cars had plates from Colorado and other far states.”
This reporter joined Councilman Alan Maisel on Fillmore Avenue between E. 49th Street and Utica Avenue on Tuesday, where we counted four cars with out-of-state plates.
The situation is made worse by the inflow of luxury apartment buildings into southern Brooklyn, which replace used-car lots and force dealers to find storage on city streets, said Maisel.
“Everything has an impact on something else,” he said. “Nothing is in a vacuum.”
The congestion caused by car dealers’ selfish storage strategy has been a long-simmering problem in the area, where numerous dealerships have set up shop in close proximity to one another.
And in addition to for-sale cars hogging parking spaces, many other locals complain of abandoned cars sitting unnoticed for months.
Police often struggle to get deserted vehicles off the southern Brooklyn streets because the area lacks alternate-side parking restrictions — meaning cars can remain unmoved for indefinite periods of time, said Maisel.
“There are more abandoned cars where there isn’t an alternate parking,” he said. “We need more places to tow the cars, along with more companies to do the towing.”
One local worried about the consequences if first responders were hamstrung by cars abandoned in front of fire hydrants.
“God forbid there’s a fire, there are five hydrants between Avenue S and Avenue T,” said Bernadette Morissey. “I guarantee that there is going to be a fire with three hydrants covered by cars.”
Police Department honchos — who claim to have towed over 30 vehicles over the summer — urged locals to report any abandoned or illegally parked vehicles to their local police precincts.
“The Commanding Officers of the 61st and 63rd precincts are aware of the illegally parked vehicles and are working to correct the condition,” said Detective Annette Shelton.