PARKING MADNESS 2021: Two Central Queens Precincts in a Lopsided Battle

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

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Today’s first-round battle features two precincts that we were told by Streetsblog readers were notorious space hogs: the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst and the 115th Precinct on the Jackson Heights-Corona border.

One of them is likely to make it all the way to this year’s finals. The other, well, probably won’t.

But, hey, on any given day, a last-place team could score an incredible upset, so who knows how readers will react when asked at the bottom of this story to vote? So let’s get to it:

110th Precinct (Elmhurst)

If there is a command that treats its neighbors with as much contempt as the 110th Precinct, we have yet to encounter it in this city.

Where some station houses have a few squad cars combat-parked out front, Capt. Jonathan Cermeli’s officers not only have several blocks of aggressively purloined parking, but they also seized half of 43rd Avenue for double-parking (complete with painted lines).

Neighbors are so cowed by Cermeli’s legions that officers routinely park in residents’ driveways. To avoid the cops, some Elmhurst residents have pained “NO PARKING” in big letters across their homes and garages to thrwart the expansionist officers.

Let’s start with an appalling slideshow of the general chaos caused by Cermeli’s officers on 43rd Avenue:

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But the offenses to the neighbors go beyond that:

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And neighbors just have to bear it:

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Officers at the 110th also have complete disregard for keeping the neighborhood nice. The precinct is ringed with junked cars which sit for weeks collecting garbage, as this slideshow reveals:

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We don’t tell our readers what to do, but it would be a crime if the 110th is not allowed to advance to the next round of this esteemed competition. But, in fairness, it’s still a contest, so in the far corner…

115th Precinct (Jackson Heights)

As bad as the 110th Precinct is, the 115th Precinct treats its neighbors with a measure of respect not seen at many station houses. Deputy Inspector Juan Duran, who took over last year, must be a laughingstock among his fellow precinct commanders, even as his neighbors are probably pleased.

Take, for example, 92nd Street, next to the stationhouse:

This is like a normal block, not a precinct block.
This is like a normal block, not a precinct block.

And just look at the front of the station house. Yes, there are a few combat-parked squad cars, but no excess space is commandeered. There’s even room for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs to move unimpeded, as this slideshow shows:

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Is everything perfect? Of course not. There are always a few junked cars or officers who simply must park on the sidewalk, but still, those offenses were limited.

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Is some of this respect racial? Well, the Census tract that is being oppressed by the officers at the 110th Precinct is 99.5 percent Hispanic and Asian, the plurality Equadorian, while the Census tract containing the 115th Precinct, while also largely Hispanic, is also 12.5 percent White.


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