HARLEM — A Sanitation Department worker ticketing NYPD vehicles illegally parked outside Police Service Area 6 — an issue that neighbors have complained about for years — was chased away by an NYPD patrol car, witnesses told DNAinfo New York.
Two weeks after DNAinfo began covering Bradhurst Avenue’s no-ticket zone, the Department of Sanitation ticketed several vehicles on Oct. 9 for violating alternate-side parking laws.
“They were out here this morning around 10 a.m.,” said James Greene, who works at a building on Bradhurst. “They ticketed a police car. They’re going to have a problem with that.”
About 20 vehicles were parked along Bradhurst between 146 and 148 streets shortly before 10 a.m. Friday morning in violation of the alternate-side street parking rules when a Sanitation worker drove up to the block and began ticketing the vehicles, witnesses said. The area is often filled with vehicles from PSA 6, the NYPD's housing bureau at 2770 Frederick Douglass Blvd. between 147 and 148 streets.
But as the worker was in the middle of ticketing the seventh vehicle shortly before 10:15 a.m., a marked police car from PSA 6 drove past the site, made a U-turn, flashed his roof lights and pulled up alongside the ticket agent, witnesses said.
After a short conversation, both vehicles drove off and no more citations were issued, leaving the approximately 13 vehicles parked illegally north of 147th Street unticketed.
A street sweeper drove down the block shortly after the exchange, and had to bypass the area without cleaning it because of all the parked cars, witnesses said.
“I would’ve loved to be a fly on the street during that conversation,” said Nat Antman, who witnessed the exchange but was not close enough to hear what was said.
NYPD officials, who initially told DNAinfo “enforcement will be taken on any illegally parked vehicles” but have since ignored questions about why they are not ticketing vehicles blocking hydrants, did not immediately respond to questions about Friday morning’s exchange.
The Department of Sanitation said it does not issue parking tickets to vehicles that display official NYPD parking permits within the area.
An officer on Bradhurst Avenue explained that vehicles with “Restricted Parking Plate” placards are allowed to park on the street without getting ticketed.
Placarded vehicles have also been spotted blocking fire hydrants around Bradhurst Avenue. On Thursday Oct. 8, four out of the six hydrants on 146th, 147th, and 148th streets were blocked by vehicles with NYPD placards.
A 2013 Patrol Guide states that there is “no valid verifiable defense for parking their vehicles (with or without a Restricted Parking Permit)” for conditions including double parking, blocking a hydrant, sidewalk or crosswalk.
The FDNY said blocking hydrants could cause delays in responding to emergencies.
“It’s illegal and it’s really a problem,” said FDNY spokesman Jim Long. “We have to unfortunately move onto the next hydrant. It could cause a serious delay.”
The FDNY relies on the Department of Sanitation and the NYPD to enforce parking laws, he added.
Residents said they hope the city continues to enforce parking laws in the area.
“I would like to see it be more consistent, not just for a couple of weeks,” Antman said.