Tuesday’s Headlines: March (Parking) Madness Edition

Why we do this contest.
Why we do this contest.

It’s that time of the year — fill in your bracket!

This year's blank bracket. Click to enlarge.
This year’s blank bracket. Click to enlarge.

Yes, it’s March (Parking) Madness time at Streetsblog. And, unlike that other slightly better known March Madness tournament, ours is far more important to the well-being and safety of your community because instead of basketball teams, our tournament pits NYPD precincts against each other to determine which station house treats its residential neighbors with the greatest contempt.

As we’ve documented year after year, this contempt comes in the form of officers’ cars and department vehicles illegally parked, double-parked, foolishly parked or combat-parked in front of the station house or on its residential side streets — a situation that makes many blocks around NYPD station houses chaotic, garbage-strewn, dangerous, and appearing to be occupied by a hostile military force that doesn’t care at all about the people around it.

Which, in fact, is the case. And anyone who walks, bikes or drives near an NYPD station house knows it. Over the years, we’ve seen all manner of parking madness — and, this year, we’re adding in a new metric of mendacity: cops who cover or deface their plates, thanks to our editor’s successful “criminal mischief” campaign.

The contest isn’t even underway, and he caught a cop on Monday:

Just to get you in the mood, here are some of the worst parking we’ve seen in years past:

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And don’t forget: All this parking madness has a deleterious effect on safety. A couple of years ago, we did a painstaking investigation into crashes on precinct blocks and found:

  • 70 precincts had a higher number of crashes on the precinct block than on either of the side streets directly on either side of the station house. Only four precincts in the entire city — the 62nd in Bensonhurst, the 90th in Greenpoint, and the Fifth and 23rd in Manhattan — had fewer crashes on the block in front of the station house.
  • The increase in crashes on a precinct block versus the neighboring blocks varies by precinct and borough:
    • In Manhattan, the average precinct block had more than double the crashes (118 percent more) than the blocks on either side of the station house.
    • In The Bronx, the average precinct block had 75 percent more crashes than the blocks on either side of the station house.
    • In Brooklyn, the average precinct block had more than triple the crashes (204 percent more) than the blocks on either side of the station house.
    • In Queens, the average precinct block also had more than triple the crashes (232 percent more) than the blocks on either side of the station house.

The higher crash rates are a result of bike lanes that suddenly end on the precinct block or simply because cops park so maddeningly there (looking at you, E. 119th Street in Harlem):

The 25th Precinct station house on E. 119th St. Photo: Google
The 25th Precinct station house on E. 119th St. Photo: Google


So join us all month long as we explore the parking situation at 16 precincts (including returning winner loser, the 84th Precinct in Downtown Brooklyn). Fill out your bracket and tune in tomorrow for the opening bout.

Now, in other news:

  • Following yet another lithium-ion battery blaze over the weekend, state legislators on Monday announced two new proposals to rein in the West West of illegal and counterfeit batteries causing the fires. One proposal would set safety standards for batteries and charges sold in New York, while the other would ban the sale of second-hand power cells. Both bills are sponsored by Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronz) and state. Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). (Bronx Times)
  • The New Yorker swooped in to comment on Gov. Hochul’s doomed-to-fail Penn Station project, focusing on the futue of Madison Square Garden, while the Daily News Editorial Board called state Sen. Leroy Comrie’s opposition to the plan its “death sentence.” Streetsblog also wrote about the project in a deep dive on Monday.
  • The LIRR’s new $11-billion train terminal continues to outrage the commuters of Long Island, even after the MTA make schedule changes in response to their complaints. (Gothamist, NY Post)
  • A top official admitted that Mayor Adams’s refusal to allow municipal employees to work remotely is hurting its ability to hire. (NY Daily News)
  • Meanwhile, the City Council pushed City Hall to drop its austerity budget. (City & State)
  • Cops are getting better at hit-and-run collars, this time catching the driver who killed a man on the FDR Drive last year, they said. (NYDN)
  • Bronx community boards are struggling to recruit members, according to The City. So, Bronx readers, now’s your time to shine.
  • Albany’s proposal to raise state speed limit to 70 mph picked up Democratic support. (Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)
  • Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi brought the city’s BQE roadshow to “The Brian Lehrer Show,” where the misinformation from callers (and Lehrer) flowed. (WNYC)
  • Not even a barrage of questions from Errol Louis can stop Open Plans’ Sara Lind from setting the record straight on outdoor dining. (NY1)
  • And finally, the MTA presents, “How to Get from the Subway to Grand Central Madison in under two hours.” Warning, the sped-up video below made our deputy editor incredibly nauseous. It will likely make would-be customers throw up their hands: