Pierrepont Parking Part Two

In his final "guest" column for the Brooklyn Paper, BHB publisher Homer Fink follows up on the parking problems of Pierrepont Street:

Brooklyn Paper: Alternative Side of Street Parking: In my last column, I reported on the controversy surrounding alleged parking permit abuse on Pierrepont Street. The problem is so bad along the strip between Henry and Hicks streets that the Brooklyn Heights Association and Community Board 2 have been looking into whether some drivers are misusing their permit parking privileges.

BHA Executive Director Judy Stanton claims that many government employees park with “impunity” often “storing” their cars over the weekend on Pierrepont. As a result, nearly two-dozen BHA members took to the street earlier this year to write down license plates of many of the vehicles in question.

But this week, one of the owners of one of said cars spoke out on the Brooklyn Heights Blog. And the owner, neighborhood attorney and disabled advocate T.K. Small, says he was outraged by the accusations.

“I am one of the individuals who parks with a permit on Pierrepont Street in ‘flagrant disregard’ of the regulations,” Small said. “Clearly people do not know what they are talking about! As a New Yorker with a disability, I have had a New York City-issued ‘parking permit for people with disabilities’ since 1997. The regulations and instructions on the back of the permit are perfectly clear in stating where it is valid.”

Small says that the BHA’s assertion that positively no one with a permit may park in the Heights’ “No Parking” areas is incorrect.

“I don’t know what law school they went to,” Small said, adding that he resents BHA members “scribbling down” his license plate number in their attempts to catch permit violations. He adds that “by me parking on [the ‘No Parking’ side] of the street, they have more opportunities to park on the other side.”

The cantankerous Small reached fever-pitch as he poked a hole in the argument that “No Parking” zones are necessary for street-cleaning purposes. 

“The streets in Brooklyn Heights are not filthy. People don’t realize how great it is here.” He’s perplexed as to why residents — and the Brooklyn Heights Association — don’t “worry about things that are more important.” He also fears that the battle of Pierrepont Street is merely the first salvo in the BHA’s real goal: residential permit parking.

“If they want to go to [that] next step, let’s just put a gate around the neighborhood,” Small argued.

But before that imaginary (or real?) gate goes up, Heights folks still have more complaining to do over the parking quandary. The mania over the Pierrepoint parking has longtime state Sen. Martin Connor (D–Brooklyn Heights) engulfed in the “parking patrol’s” crosshairs.

When asked about his own alleged misuse of his parking permit in the “No Parking” area on Pierrepont, Connor says that he’s only parked there on rare occasions or to load and unload his car. He usually parks in a garage on Love Lane, which closes at 1 am. However, when the senator was caring for his sick mother in April, he felt he needed all-day access to his vehicle, so he parked on the street with his permit.

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  • http://adsformyself.blogspot.com Tim N.

    Bring on the residential permits!!! Can’t happen soon enough.

  • jamieP

    Yay! I’m all about the resident permits.

    I don’t get t.k. small’s issue: he’s doing nothing wrong. But there are people who do missuse permits. I think the BHA is doing a good thing by “scribbling down” all the permits and making sure that only the legit ones stay.


  • http://bccy.blogspot.com frelkins

    Residential permits should be required, and I would love to gate the community, or at least the Historic District. Maybe we should turn the whole place into a pedestrian zone.

    Despite the new traffic changes of the past 4 years or so, too many commuters still try to use various Hghts streets as on/off ramps for the BQE. I’m tired of having commuters run red lights, drive at 60mph, all that.

    Close the Hghts now.

  • T.K. Small

    First of all, thank you Homer for taking my concerns seriously. Additionally, I apologize for my part in adding to the acerbic tone of the previous discussion. While my comments went slightly too far, I stand by the substance of my arguments.

    For anyone wanting clarification of my arguments, they can be summarized with two points: (1) the BHA went too far in including the alleged misuse of disabled parking permits, and (2) the idea of resident parking being implemented in this neighborhood, or any neighborhood for that matter, is not in our of long-term best interest.

    Point One

    The BHA campaign seemed to be either instigated, or in response to, efforts by the group Uncivil Servants. Although it is not completely clear from the original article if Uncivil Servants was seeking information from the BHA, it is clear from their website that they are not interested with anything concerning parking permits for people with disabilities. As the name of the group suggests, they are exclusively interested in permit abuses of government employees and officials. Given the limitations of the apparent focus of Uncivil Servants, how could it have been appropriate for my license plate number to have probably been forwarded to this group? Uncivil Servants is a subdivision of a large and powerful group in New York City called Transportation Alternatives. Having them mistakenly report me and others to New York City government could potentially be a nightmare.

    Point Two

    Using the streets of New York City is public property. Assuming proper licensing, people should be able to drive anywhere. That includes Brooklyn Heights. On the unfortunate day that resident parking might get implemented, other neighborhoods will follow suit. Shortly thereafter, parking will be that much more difficult for everyone, everywhere. For people that actually go to other neighborhoods around New York City, I cannot see how this would work to our long-term advantage.

    In conclusion, we are very fortunate to live in this great neighborhood. Our streets are basically clean and safe. Complaining about the parking activities of cops, firemen, people with disabilities, etc., somehow seems petty.

  • Heights Neighbor

    It’s all about abuse of power for me. Never about disabled permits…it’s all the NYPD and other gov’t permits storing their cars for days at a time whenever and wherever they want when I need to pay a fortune for a monthly space.

  • hjjtakeou

    When you get to park in front of your door all the time, you may not realize how difficult parking is for residents. It’s not petty. It’s a problem for a lot of us and people who use professional permits for personal business are a large part of the problem. Resident permits levels the playing field.