Parking Problems

Seven On Your Side
November 3, 2008 3:34:27 PM PST
It's an apparent loophole in the parking enforcement system that one Queens man has exploited. As a result, residents say, he's been ignoring alternate side of the street parking rules for months. Until Seven On Your Side's Tappy Phillips confronted him."We saw you do it this morning. We saw you do it three weeks ago. You do it every week, why? said Tappy Phillips. "Do you think it's legal?"

Tappy Phillips is talking to a man, who neighbors say is a parking scofflaw.

We'd been watching him for weeks. In front of his home there is alternate side of the street parking each Thursday morning from 8:30 to 10 for street cleaning.

But, each Thursday morning at 8, instead of moving his van, he takes the plates off, raises the hood and leaves it, and drives off in a different car.

On two Thursdays, we watched traffic cops drive by his illegally parked car. And the street cleaner just swept around him. No tow, no tickets.

"This car they just leave alone," says Gabe Cordero of PS 219.

After street cleaning rules were over at 11am. We watched him come back, put the plates back on, lower the hood, and drive off.

"We never see tickets on it," says Gabe Cordero. Gabe works at nearby PS 219. He says the van has become an obstacle for workmen building a school playground.

So, we flagged down a cop. The traffic supervisor told us she couldn't ticket it because there were no plates or registration sticker.

That was the catch-22 that kept it from being ticketed for month. But before the city could tow the vehicle, the owner showed up.

Tappy confronted the man, "Why do you take the plates off every Thursday morning? You're still supposed to have your van licensed. There's no registration. There's no inspection on it. And you leave it on a city street."

The man promised to remove it immediately. And just minutes later, that's just what happened. That left residents rejoicing.

Gabe says the van has not been back since it was towed. Police told us the van was not ticketed because it didn't have any identifying tags or registration. The sanitation department tells us it was never towed beacuse it appear to be abandoned, an apparent gap in the law that the van's owner used to his advantage.


Story by: Tappy Phillips
Produced by: Steve Livingstone