2003-08-01 / Community

Ticket Blitz In Flooded Broad Channel

By Mara Lander
Ticket Blitz In Flooded Broad Channel By Mara Lander

Broad Channel residents have noticed recently that when the waves swell and the water comes up over automobile fenders, the number of parking tickets increases as well.

During very high tides or excess rains, Broad Channel streets become flooded, and residents often park their cars on the divider on Cross Bay Boulevard. This seems the only option to keep the cars from being damaged.

Until recently, law enforcement was understanding of the unique predicament of Broad Channel residents, and did not often ticket cars parked on the median during flooding. Many of the previous commanding officers in the 100 Precinct agreed to allow parking on the Boulevard during flood conditions. That "gentlemen’s agreement" seems to have ended, if the increase of tickets is any indication.

According to Ed O’Hare, president of the United Community Organization in Broad Channel, the residents of Broad Channel agreed to have someone phone the precinct if the streets were flooded, and alert them to the possibility of cars being parked on the divider on Cross Bay Boulevard. Police officers were kept informed of the flooding situation in Broad Channel, by the residents, and would exhibit understanding of the unique situation, and not ticket the cars.

This verbal contract was successful and fair to all involved parties, as long as residents did not take advantage of the consideration being granted them.

Along with the rest of the city, however Broad Channel residents have recently observed that suddenly the parking laws are being strictly enforced, even during flooding.

Carmelo J. LoFaro wrote to The Wave complaining about a parking ticket received when he parked his car on the Cross Bay Boulevard median. A disabled individual, he had always been given a certain amount of consideration during times of flooding in Broad Channel. However, on a recent occasion of flooding, LoFaro received two pricey parking tickets in a period of twenty-four hours.

LoFaro says he noticed in increase in ticketing in October or November, and when Christmas came around, he was wary and did not park his car on the divider, even though the streets were flooded. When he returned to his car he had to wade through water up to his calves, and worried that his brakes might be damaged.

"The median is very wide, so parking on it doesn’t obstruct anything. If they allowed it in the past, why not now?; Unless it has to do with the mayor’s revenue program. I think it is very unfair to the people of Broad Channel," added LoFaro.

While LoFaro maintains that his tickets were certainly issued by the 100 Precinct, Ed O’Hare suggests that perhaps the New York City Department of Transportation is to blame for the sudden influx of tickets. In this event, any agreements with the 100 Precinct would be ineffectual.

Regardless of who is issuing the tickets, Broad Channel residents are suffering. Many have been led to believe that parking on the median would be tolerated and are later met with parking tickets and confusion.

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