Trouble in Mayberry Edition – Streetsblog New York City
It’s a pretty funny story.
At 10:57 a.m. yesterday, our old editor disconnected his nose from the millstone to fetch a cup of coffee. Once outside, he noticed a large Ford SUV blocking a pedestrian ramp in front of a children’s medical center in his neighborhood. Normally our old man doesn’t like to wage war on his neighbors, even crooks, but something about blocking a ramp in a corner full of relatives pushing stuck strollers down his hairy throat. (Not considering the car has accumulated 11 tickets for illegal parking, and one for speeding in a school zone, since October 25!)
So he reported the car to 311.
This generated the standard email that the NYPD was on the case and would let them know when the service request “has been updated”. It was a sunny day, so he waited.
Exactly 20 minutes later, his phone rang. It was a sergeant from the 72nd district who wanted to know – sincerely, we believe – if the car was still illegally parked. When told that was the case, the sergeant said he would send a car right away.
Ugh. To get a ticket on a dangerously illegally parked car, two cops from a train station 40 blocks away must enter their car, drive and arrive in time before the driver leaves.
This is of course what happened. At 11:23 a.m., the illegally parked driver pulled out (using an illegal maneuver, no less). And at 11:55 p.m. the sergeant called back to say officers had been delayed by “an emergency” and would be heading now. Our old man told them not to disturb as the driver had left.
So what have we learned?
- Wow, that’s a faulty system.
- There must be a better way to enforce dangerously parked vehicles than to have members of the public remain on the scene for 20 minutes – and then another 40 minutes – to inform police of the status of the complaint.
- Indeed, if it takes a cop that long to respond to a dangerously parked vehicle, wouldn’t it be more efficient if people could update their 311 calls if the driver moves?
- Even more effective: The council must pass a bill that then-council member Steve Levin proposed last year to allow residents to self-report cheating drivers and then pocket a portion of the money money from the summons (as the city does with the “Billy Never Idles” offenses). The bill didn’t pass before Levin left, but his successor, Lincoln Restler, told our own Julianne Cuba on Monday that the bill was a priority for him, and he resubmitted it. to President Adrienne Adams, who will award it to her or another member.
In other news from a reasonably busy day:
- Three people have died in a horrific accident involving a car and a missed exit from Henry Hudson Drive. (NYDN, New York Post)
- Like Streetsblog, amNY and gothamist covered the rally for better buses.
- Like Streetsblog, The Brooklyn Paper covered the Rally to End Parking Minimums, which featured Sara Lind of Open Plans (our parent company!).
- Hats off to Daily News columnist Leonard Greene for championing Renee Collymore’s efforts to create Apollo’s Garden, as first reported by Streetsblog.
- It was beautiful to see Slate picking up on our months of coverage of killer trucks, like the upcoming Ford F-150 Lighting, which may be electric, but is still a monstrous killer waiting.
- Don’t miss our very own Julianne Cuba and Friend of Streetsblog Brian Howald discussing their deep dive into the misunderstood racism of speed enforcement with Michael Hill on WNYC.
- And, finally, here it is, your road sign hacking moment:
eh okay pic.twitter.com/Qpwvp0joFr
— cale g weissman (@caleweissman) February 28, 2022