By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Community Board 11 (Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) has a simple message for truck drivers who park their big rigs on residential streets overnight: Go away!
Too many truckers and owners of commercial vans take up on-street parking spaces depriving residents of those precious spots, according to Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, who said she’s pleased that the New York Police Department is cracking down on the disobedient drivers.
One crackdown, which took place during the Thanksgiving weekend, resulted in eight trucks being towed by the city, Elias-Pavia said. “Thanksgiving weekend, there was aggressive enforcement. They had four heavy duty tow trucks out. Eight big-box trucks were towed,” she said at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting. The city has vowed to return to the community board area every week if necessary to enforce regulations.
Under New York City law, it is a violation for a commercial vehicle to be parked on a residential street between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Yet, scores of drivers do just that, Elias-Pavia said. The problem is pervasive throughout the entire community board area, she said.
“We want truck drivers to know that if you’re going to park in Bensonhurst, it’s not the price of doing business. The fines can go up to $500 and change,” Elias-Pavia said.
In October, the community board passed a resolution calling on the Police Dept. to do more to enforce the parking rules regarding commercial vehicles.
The Bensonhurst Bean blog reported that on Oct. 15, Elias-Pavia wrote to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to request aggressive enforcement, asking the commissioner to assign a task force of cops to blanket the area and write summonses.
The problem “spoils the neighborhood,” Board Chairman Bill Guarinello said. Adding to the situation is the fact that if one driver gets away with parking his truck on the street, others will do the same, Guarinello said. “It is a contagion,” he said.
Guarinello called on board members and the public to call 311 and report any trucks parked on their streets overnight. The idea behind the phone calls is to put public pressure on the Police Dept. to do something, he said. “We haven’t given up the battle,” he said.
Elected officials could be doing more to help residents get rid of the trucks, he said. “You’ve got to up the fines there,” he said.