PARKING MADNESS 2021: A South Bronx Battle Long in the Making

This is one of two first-round battles we present today. To see the other contest — a Queens contest for the ages — click here. And please remember to vote!

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It’s time for our latest first-round clash between two of the Bronx’s most notorious scofflaw station houses: the 40th on E. 138th Street and the 42nd at the triangle on Washington Avenue.

We’re expecting fireworks today, given that both commands are patently abusive to their neighbors, with combat-parked squad cars and junked “evidence” forming concentric rings around both fortresses.

So without further ado, let’s meet today’s contestants:

The 40th (The South Bronx)

Deputy Inspector Robert Gallitelli (check out his “challenge coin” for sale on eBay!) is a wily veteran who obviously knows you can’t win these crucial first-round battles without bringing your A game.

Here’s one example you won’t see in most commands: Do you recall how the New York Public Library has the lions Patience and Fortitude guarding the entrance? Well, Gallitelli’s troops intentionally park two unmarked squad cars flanking the entrance to the gated precinct block on Alexander Avenue. Call these cars Disrespect and Corruption (photo below):

patience and fortitude

But at least the presence of those intentionally parked vehicles shows some order. The rest of the streetscape around the 40th Precinct building is chaos and disorder. Here a slideshow of the officers’ combat parking on Alexander Avenue and on E. 138th Street — both zones that are not marked as NYPD parking, yet are filled with officers’ cars.

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It’s not all so orderly. As this slideshow shows, the precinct block itself is chaotic, including double-parked squad cars and police officers’ vehicles blocking curb cuts, and even a police Dumpster that’s just sitting on a busy corner:

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And it wouldn’t be a station house without the requisite junked cars:

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The bottom line? Why are we tolerating such disrespect in what is a city recognized historic district?

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The 42nd (Melrose)

As bad as the 40th Precinct is, at least its roadways are mostly orderly. At Deputy Inspector Carlos Ghonz’s command post, cops throw their cars wherever they want, and the officers have completely stolen a public greenspace (albeit a small one).

Let’s start with the basic overview of the triangle at Washington and Third avenues. As you can see in this slideshow, cops combat-park all over the place, forcing pedestrians into the roadway and giving the aggressive air of an occupying force:

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The disrespect for the neighborhood starts around the corner on E. 161st St.

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And, like most commands, there is garbage everywhere, in the form of junked cars and streets that never get swept because cops disobey all the parking rules:

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And this cop who is blocking the curb cut got three speeding tickets in the last 12 months:

cops BMW with three speeding tickets since last year

And saddest of all, one officer (below) doesn’t even care if all his brothers and sisters die in a fire if the station house was suddenly engulfed in flames:

car at a hydrant

Is it the worst we’ve seen in town? Probably not, but likely just enough to get the 42nd Precinct into the second round.

But you decide:


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