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Police Launch Towing Blitz of Motorcycles Parked on Sidewalks

By DNAinfo Staff on June 24, 2011 5:00pm

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — Police are cracking down on motorcycles that are illegally parked on Midtown sidewalks, following growing residents' complaints.

Cops in the Midtown North precinct towed seven motorbikes, including two scooters, for illegal parking in a single operation on June 14, Commanding Officer Timothy Beaudette told residents at a community council meeting this week.

Police plan to continue the crackdown with several sweeps a month "to try to spread the message," he said.

Residents in the precinct had complained that motor scooters and motorcycles were parking on sidewalks instead of streets and said many appeared to be operating without plates, making them hard to ticket.

Police went on an operation last week to tow motorcycles parked on the sidewalk.
Police went on an operation last week to tow motorcycles parked on the sidewalk.
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Courtesy of John Cleary

"They're running rampant," said Bob Minor, who's lived in the neighborhood for 35 years.

Minor said he'd snapped photos of 25 motorcycles that didn't have plates or were improperly parked during a recent walk around the neighborhood.

"It's the wild west out here," he said.

John Cleary — who was almost caught in the towing blitz but arrived in time to save his bike — slammed the crackdown as unfair.

"There is nowhere to park motorcycles where I live," said Cleary, 50, who has been stowing his bike on the sidewalk in front of a post office parking lot on West 51st Street near Eighth Avenue for years.

"For all the years I've parked there, it's never been a problem," he said. "I bother no one."

But Beaudette defended the crackdown, saying that even if police had been lax before, parking on the sidewalk is against the law.

"I appreciate what you're saying," he said in response to Cleary, "but we get complaints [and] we have to take action."