UPPER EAST SIDE — An ongoing feud between residents and Fox 5 over double-parked news vans outside of its East 67th Street studio boiled to a head during a public meeting on Wednesday.
The illegally parked news vans on the street between Second and Third avenues have forced public buses to drive onto the sidewalk to get through, and the road is filthy because street cleaners cannot pass to remove debris, residents said during a Community Board 8 transportation committee meeting.
"The entire north side is filthy as it hasn’t been swept since the Civil War," resident Marty Fox said. "It is, in essence, government-aided abuse of the general public for the benefit of recalcitrant scofflaws."
Fox 5 has eight parking spaces dedicated to press only in front of its building at 205 E. 67th St. — which were approved by the community board years ago, according to residents.
Parking there is limited to three hours, according to the Department of Transportation. But the vans and employee cars will sit there day and night, in addition to double parking and hogging spaces designated as a "no parking" zone, which prohibits parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., residents told the board and Fox 5 reps during the meeting.
The one-way street is also part of the M66 bus route. And residents who want to park on the street seldom find a space because because Fox employees keep their personal vehicles parked there around the clock, they say.
"It's so bad that buses can't go through and ride up on the sidewalks in front of our building," he said. "People from Fox come here and promise to be better neighbors, and they do become better neighbors for awhile, but then there's a personnel change and the street reverts to a really unfortunate and unsafe situation."
Fox's head of technical operations, Brian Quinn, responded saying he was unaware of the three-hour limitation within the press parking zone.
"No sir, I'm not full of sh--," Quinn said in response to a resident telling him he was "full of it."
"You have to understand that we're a news organization," Quinn continued. "I'm sorry we're in the neighborhood, but we have a right to conduct business as do other businesses in the neighborhood."
But the issue of double parking has been going on for a decade, residents say. In 2011, the community took a stand, saying it would consider taking back the press parking area that they previously had agreed to in 2007 if Fox continued to abuse their privileges.
For awhile immediately after that, Fox abided by the rules, but has since reverted to breaking them and haven't been stopped by the NYPD, according to resident Russ Novak.
The NYPD did not return a request for comment on Thursday, though Fox has said that its employees have been ticketed in the past.
Quinn ultimately agreed to coordinate with the community board and meet with residents on a regular basis to hear their complaints.
Regardless, the committee passed a resolution asking the DOT to change the "no parking" signs to alternate side parking, to extend the press parking zone to the edge of the studio's property line by adding one more parking space, and requested that the NYPD rigorously enforces the regulations.
But residents seemed resigned to the fact that they were powerless to improve conditions on the street.
"Without the good faith of Fox, there's nothing we can do," resident Jordan Wouk said.