7 On Your Side: Parking problems endanger Brooklyn residents

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- One city official looked at the video of SUVs barreling down sidewalks in Brooklyn, calling it criminal reckless driving.

All this so area businessmen can access what the city deems illegal off street parking spots. We've yelled long and loud to five city agencies over six months to get this potential danger fixed.

A concerned neighbor caught it all on camera. A driver blatantly breaking the law, driving on the sidewalk, a full city block, to get to the street after leaving an illegal driveway in Flatbush.

And at night, a different SUV scofflaw, backing up past a brickwall, a blindspot where walkway meets sidewalk.

"It's terrifying and I did not know they were doing that. I'm glad someone caught that," said a Brooklyn resident.

"Someone's going to wind up getting hit," said Brooklyn resident Peter Arroyo. It was Arroyo who first sounded the alarm to us last November.

The fence in front of the building was ripped out. A driveway and parking spots were created and the owner even painted the curb to discourage residents from parking across the entrances.

Once we alerted the city, it hit the landlord with two zoning violations, ordering them to discontinue illegal use and levying $8,000 worth of fines after the owner didn't show in court.

And the illegal parking continues with this dangerous new twist - to get out of their illegal spots, offenders barrel down the sidewalk.

Right in front of a school, steps from where kids enjoy recess, where they walk before and after class.

"Until someone gets hit that's when change is going to occur," said Peter Arroyo.

We tried to ask several times again why the rules weren't being followed. The rep for the owner told us he thought he was doing the residents a favor by parking off street, not taking up on-street spots.

So we went to the NYPD. The result? They put up blue police barricades.

But the next day they were tossed to the side so cars could still park where they want.

"Just the defiance is ridiculous," said one resident.

Once we shared the photos with the police, the NYPD put a patrolman in an unmarked car out front.

So far it's working. The illegal driveway is empty.

After the NYPD saw that sidewalk driving video a commanding officer with the 72nd Precinct told tenants they can no longer park in the illegal parking spots, warning they will be summonsed and towed if this continues.

As for the fines, they haven't been paid but we learned the building owner requested another hearing. They'll be in court next week.


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