Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Roosevelt Island Parking Problems - Is There Selective Issuance Of Parking Tickets & Priveledges Depending Upon Whom You Know?

Parking Ticket Being Issued in Front of 425 Main Street

In response to this post on parking problems for Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk residents and workers at Southtown's Main Street, several readers complained:
...cars were parked along the sidewalk with Bogus Placards that said Monadnock Construction, Authorized Parking. When I called PSD, they said no construction company had authorization to park on the street, and the placards were apparently fake.
Southtown parking is a joke. Illegal use of parking placards - construction, NYPD, MTAPD, BOE, how about handwritten building concierge, menu's, construction vests, Union County NJ placards, and the list goes on. All of these are passed by Public Safety and not ticketed. Why?? Free food? Courtesy? Like it would be reciprocal, I doubt it. You complain and they tell it's none of your business, I'm just not sure what their business is.
Another reader noticed after the last snowstorm that:
It is interesting that the snow, which began to accumulate on Thursday, and finally ended late Friday evening, can be still found piled up on several automobiles on Main Street.

The cars, clearly in violation 1) of any 40 minute parking limit, and 2) a need for plows to be able to clear the snow from Main Street, remain with full windshields of snow on Saturday evening.

Public Safety has not cleared the snow to put on a ticket and the cars have not been towed away.

Who are these people with parking privileges? How does one get to be on such a favored "no ticket/no tow list?"
I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra about this parking issue:
I have been getting messages recently about parking ticket selective enforcement by Public Safety Department particularly along Main Street in Southtown. Residents and workers are complaining that the few parking spaces available are being taken up by those "favored" by RIOC or Public Safety Department to the unfair detriment of others not so lucky. Others have mentioned fake or "bogus" authorization stickers on windshields that indicate to Public Safety Department that these cars should not be ticketed. On Saturday afternoon, I saw a car with a Monadnock Construction sticker

that was not ticketed while others without the sticker were. Attached is photo of the sticker on windshield and car parked on street next to double parked car.

Also, why are some so-called "authorized" cars allowed to park in the Zip Car area across from 455 Main Street? What makes these cars authorized and others not. Steve Shane has indicated that the Tennis Club patrons will not be allowed to park there but they are still doing so and signage indicates that they are allowed to do so.

Do you care to comment on this and on Roosevelt Island Parking ticket enforcement in general. I will be publishing post on topic this week
Mr. Guerra replied:
I will not dignify the first portion of your e-mail regarding "favoritism" with an answer, as the notion is not only false but offensive. There are no fake or bogus authorization stickers, which indicate to an Officer - not to ticket a vehicle. While part of an Officer's duties are to enforce Parking Violations, that is not their primary function. Sometimes vehicles parked in violation go un-ticketed.

The only Official Placards that are being honored are those used by members of the NYPD Transit Division, who are granted the courtesy of 2 spaces near the Zip-cars parked along the fence of the old Monadnock Construction Area (now being used by POMA for the Tram Operation). Before that lot was turned over to POMA, vehicles belonging to Monadnock Construction workers were authorized to park inside. They were given a piece of paper (by their company) indicating that they worked for Monadnock (or Related).

The picture you attached is that paper, which is no longer in effect. Vehicles bearing that piece pf paper, parked in on the street are subject to the same Parking Rules that all other vehicles have to follow. They are not exempt from receiving tickets, and have received them. If you, or any other resident, sees a vehicle parked in violation, I encourage a phone call to the Public Safety Department so that it may be ticketed.

To my knowledge, the Managers of the Tennis Complex worked out a temporary arrangement to have their patrons park in the area near the Zip-cars, and still have that permission. Another area is being sought out, but until the details are worked out, they are allowed to park there (and have a piece of paper in their windows indicating that they are Tennis Complex patrons).

Lastly, residents who come into the Public Safety Department asking for a courtesy to temporarily park in certain areas, are granted that courtesy and are not ticketed.
I responded:
I am sorry that you think my question regarding selective enforcement of parking tickets by Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department is offensive. It was not intended to give offense but merely to question and give you an opportunity to respond to a belief (commonly held?) by some Roosevelt Island residents.

As to the "courtesy" extended to some who enter the Public Safety Department to ask for temporary parking allowances, that is difficult for Riverwalk residents since they live a distance away from PS office. Perhaps a system could be worked out using a phone to allow the same courtesy for Riverwalk residents as allowed for others living near Public Safety office.
Followed by Mr. Guerra:
Residents coming on to the island have to pass the Public Safety office before they arrive at Riverwalk. They may even stop in one of our spaces to come in and ask for a courtesy parking.

We have fielded calls from Riverwalk & Octagon residents asking for courtesy parking, but they need to provide their license plate, make & color as well as the reason for their request. We have honored those requests and will continue to do so.
There is a prior history on Roosevelt Island, admittedly prior to Mr. Guerra's tenure, of allegations that the Public Safety Department selectively enforced parking regulations. According to this January 2008 Daily News article:
... Some locals said parking regulations are selectively enforced by Roosevelt Island Public Safety, whose officers have the right to ticket cars and make arrests.

"They will not issue a summons to friends," said Ron Schuppert, chairman of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association's public safety committee and a retired NYPD officer with 25 years on the job.

"It's like a small Southern town. It's nothing but nepotism," he said.

Farance and Schuppert alleged there is a secret list of people who are immune from ticketing.

Steve Shane — president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp., which oversees Public Safety — said the list is an urban legend.

"There's no such list," Shane said. "There may have been one but there certainly isn't one now."...


Anonymous said...

"While part of an Officer's duties are to enforce Parking Violations, that is not their primary function."

What? How busy can PSD officers be in a place like Roosevelt Island? No time to go down Main Street and enforce parking regulations a few times a day? It takes one, maybe two at most, officers to do such a job.

I personally have nothing against the PSD but the whole parking thing and how NOBODY is willing to give a straight cut answer (it always ends up to being insulted etc.) make me wonder what the hell is actually going on there...

Anonymous said...

The "sentiments" may change IF we do not repeatedly see PSD vehicles parked across from each other on Main Street, or double parking, thus creating bottlenecks.
It is also an irritant to see the three spaces reserved for PSD in front of Island House frequently given to other cars forcing handi-capped people living in Island House and Roosevelt Landings to park further away. One max two spaces should be sufficient for an emergency.

Anonymous said...

I guess the first anonymous poster doesn't read your report of the PSD blotter. If he/she did, they would see that they are answering lots of calls. They also patrol the WIRE buildings and the Motorgate. I have seen them ticket cars and have even received one myself. When told I could ask for a courtesy park in the future, I took them up on it and never received one again.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but I like most of the bloggers here, I have lived on the island for more than 12 years. I have seen the change in PSD over the last couple. The officers look better and are more courteous. I think some of you are still holding on to your old thoughts and don't want to open your minds to the fact that they have improved. Are they perfect, no. But, I just think the department is better now.
(Just my thoughts).

Anonymous said...

I am the first anon poster from above. I am just trying to make two points:

1) PSD should be in the business of ticketing cars and make that one of their priorities as well. There is no reason not to because all parking on this island is timed.

2) I still would like to see a response from anybody in charge that clearly states why some of the repeatedly observed parking violations get away unpunished. Look at Guerra's response, for example, he did not answer the question. He was insulted and refused to answer it. Not even in a follow-up. What is the deal? Why can't we have a straight answer? Why?

Anonymous said...

Ah, actually, I believe he did answer it ... by saying the implication was false. Which, I guess means their is no selective enforcement. Folks who park illegally take a chance. Some get ticketed and others are lucky they didn't. We know parking here is limited, so if you want to call PSD on your fellow neighbors so they can get ticketed - go ahead. Just know the same thing could happen to you.

Anonymous said...

LOL I love these blog debates. Just beware what you wish for. The last time PSD went on a ticketing/towing blitz (several years ago), Main St and Manhattan Park were emptied. One minute past permit expiration, summons and tow. Don't wish for those days again.

Anonymous said...

For Mr. Guerra to say there is no favoritism means he is clearly in denial or just blind to what is happening. I've seen PSD also give people tickets who had an uexpired muni meter ticket on the car.I've also seen people going to purchase a muni meter ticket and because it is so far from the parking space by the time they come back they were greated with a ticket and an attitude from a PSD officer. Another thing which I've noticed is them speeding on Main St without their siren and going through stop signs. The time i did call to make a complaint to PSD office the officer "kindly" hung up on me.

Paul said...

Why have they suddenly made street parking illegal in front of Octagon Park (across from the fire house)? It used to be metered parking. In fact, the meter machine is still there, but new "No Parking" signs have been erected there.