PARKING MADNESS BROOKLYN FINAL: It’s Clinton Hill vs. East Flatbush

This is the first battle in the second-round of our NCAA-inspired March (Parking) Madness tournament, featuring some of the most disrespectful police precincts in town. Remember to cast your vote at the bottom. Polls remain open until Thursday at 5 p.m. For a recap on how we got from the Sour 16 to the Hateful Eight, click here.

Brooklyn is in the house … and on the sidewalk … and in the bike lane.

The borough finals for Brooklyn in our March (Parking) Madness tournament is an especially close competition featuring two commands that don’t do anything flashy, but excel at the common contempt for their neighbors that we have come to expect from NYPD professionals.

But how will our readers choose the precinct that deserves to make it to the Final Four? It’s a tough matchup, so let’s break it down:

The 67th (East Flatbush)

For a second during our visit to the Snyder Avenue station house, we thought Deputy Inspector Gaby Celiba had told his troops to phone it in for the finals. In place of the garbage and office detritus that filled the street during our first-round visit, the 6-7 has managed to at least contain its refuse.

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But one thing that cannot be contained is this precinct’s passion for parking on sidewalks that don’t belong to them! The cops over here are so hungry for public space that they even park in people’s driveways and, of course, on the sidewalk (in fairness, at least scofflaw is a firefighter, though cops could easily evict him or her). Here’s a slideshow:

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The problem is so bad that at least two neighbors protect “their” turf with gates to prevent cops from seizing the space:

neighbors protect their turf

But for the most part, the precinct block (between Rogers and Nostrand avenues) is calm. Most of the chaos unleashed by officers at the 67th is around the corner.

On Rogers — right across the street from Council Member Mathieu Eugene’s office! — cops park in a bus stop. You can also see a double-parked squad car in front of Eugene’s office (which has the red, white and blue awning in the photo below):

cops in bus lane

We should point out that we called Eugene for comment, but his office did not return the call. In fact, his office never returns a call from Streetsblog (yet Eugene is hoping to be succeeded by his brother, who also did not return calls for our borough political roundup).

Back to our story: One block up Rogers from Eugene’s watchful sleepy eye, neighbors are treated to what Parking Madness fans call “The Trifecta” — a corner featuring police vehicles blocking three of the four corners. We turned that into a montage so you can really see what’s going on:

The trifecta at Rogers and Snyder avenues.
The trifecta at Rogers and Snyder avenues.

Now, all of this disrespect for East Flatbush residents might not be enough to get the 67th to the Final Four, except when you walk around this station house for an hour or so, you come to see that there are dozens of abandoned, plate-less cars all over the place, some in disrepair, but others looking just fine.

We even reported one of them — a Dodge Challenger with a “Blue Lives Matter” sticker — to 311 earlier this month (and promptly got a “case closed” email), only to find it in a different space (this time in front of a hydrant). We reported it again.

There are cars like this all over the area around the 67th, as this slideshow shows:

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It’s not uncommon for station houses to have many junked cars around it — cops will say the cars are “evidence” in some cases about which we never hear anything — but the 67th exceeds even the NYPD low standards for neighborliness. With so many junked cars around the station house, one can’t help feeling that somehow the officers themselves are in on whatever scam is being perpetrated. Indeed, if these are just abandoned cars, wouldn’t the cops want them removed, if only to create more sidewalk space on which they can park? And wouldn’t the DSNY remove them when they are reported to 311?

If the 67th Precinct makes it to the Final Four, we will get the answers. But before that, Celiba’s crew will have to get past its Borough Finals competitor…

The 88th Precinct (Clinton Hill)

Streetsblog readers are probably dying to see the 88th end up in the Final Four, given how officers here commandeered a playground (!) from local kids last year, but Capt. Ryon Malcolm clearly isn’t bringing his A game to the borough finals.

Still, residents of Clinton Hill have plenty of reasons to scrawl ACAB all over the neighborhood. Let us count the ways:

First, as the slideshow below shows, the cops’ parking on the sidewalk only leaves a strip of bumpy cobblestone for pedestrians. Good luck if you’re a senior citizen or in a wheelchair (or both). But beyond that, the DOT had to erase the bike lane directly in front of the Classon Avenue station house because it could not accommodate the bike lane, the left-turn lane and the cops’ parking. Something had to give — and it was safety for cyclists. A proud Vision Zero partner would have said, “No, take the cops’ parking. It’s more important for cyclists and delivery workers to be safe.” But Malcolm never said a word.

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Speaking of safety, we certainly don’t blame the NYPD for the placement of its garbage Dumpsters outside the station house, but we do believe that a strong Vision Zero partner would do whatever it takes to make sure the Dumpster isn’t blocking the bike lane on a roadway already narrowed by illegal cop parking. Here’s a slideshow:

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If you still think that the 88th has not earned a Final Four berth, consider that two of the illegal parkers forcing cyclists into the roadway are notorious speeders.

Run the plate.
Run the plate.

The car in the foreground has five speeding tickets (and a dented front right fender, suggesting other misadventures), and the car in the background has four. And nothing says, “Hello, neighbor!” like an illegally parked BMW (last time we were here, it was two Mercedeses).

Sure, there's a subway station on the corner, but I'm going to drive my BMW to work — and shove it in your face.
Sure, there’s a subway station on the corner, but I’m going to drive my BMW to work, park it on the sidewalk — and shove it in your face.

But which precinct has the Right Stuff to make it to the Final Four? Well, that’s up to you! Vote below (polls are open until Friday at 5 p.m.):

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