20 Henry Street Ticket Imbroglio – the Video

Karl Junkersfeld enlists the help of Cranberry’s Jim Montemarano in saving one car from being towed in front of 20 Henry Street.  BHB reader “My2Cents” had posted signs warning unwitting motorists that they would be towed from the No Parking zone after the normal DOT sign was obscured by scaffolding around the old Peaks Mason Mints Factory.

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  • my2cents

    Hey Karl,
    Thanks for the kudos in your video. I was out of town all weekend, but I hope to put up new signs this week. Where are the local politicians? This is the kind of dumb thing that can be fixed with a stroke of the pen if someone actually gave a crap.

  • maxine

    absolutely agree- keep saying i’m going to get in touch with bha or dept. of transportation? who can we call-i live across the street and as you know the parking situation is at an all time high-or low.

  • annoyed

    There is a sign in the middle of the block that clearly says that there is temporarily no parking. Whoever is too lazy to check the other direction for a sign and just parks his car there assuming he is save to park as others do too, deserves the ticket. I am sorry. I really dont know why anyone needs to put up additional signs saying there is no parking.

    And the smart person who always thinks he can just move back the metal barricade to gain another parking spot making it impossible to use that side of the sidewalk should be towed.

    Maybe my2cents should put up signs that stealing iphones is illegal too and you risk jail if caught.

  • annoyed

    Also, the sign about the temporay parking restrictions used to be hanging below the scaffolding right at the corner on both sides of the street till the time when the project stopped. Looking at the video the sign above the scaffolding looks like the street cleaning sign only, but I will check that out. It always looked to me that a friendly neighborhood activist removed the signs after construction stopped to gain back those parking spots.

  • AAR

    Okay….here’s another idea for the hopper – Since this is no longer a construction site, make the owner repair the sidewalk and restore parking.

  • my2cents

    @Annoyed, the fact that my paper signs changed people’s behavior completely is proof that the people parking there were not aware it was illegal. The sign that you consider so obvious is actually two contradictory signs. And furthermore they are inside a metal barricade, so one might assume, by the presence of other parked cars that the rest of the block that it is safe to park there.
    I don’t know why you feel the need to be a naysayer when I am just trying to help people avoid being ticketed, as I was, for an honest mistake.

  • AEB

    What is the matter with you, Annoyed?

    My2 has done a public service; s/he was motivated by the wish to help others avoid trouble and expense, and you choose to focus self-righteously on the possible imperfections of the effort.

    Direct your anger to those/those things that actually deserve it.

    Thank you.

  • [redacted]

    I have called DOT’s Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination twice and the borough commissioner’s office once, so apparently this isn’t “the kind of dumb thing that can be fixed with a stroke of the pen if someone actually gave a crap.” I’ll keep trying, though.

  • T.K. Small

    As House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local”. I would recommend that people contact NYC Councilmember Steve Levin.
    Levin’s district office/telephone # are as follows:
    410 Atlantic Ave.

    I will also bring it to the attention of the District Manager for Community Board 2.

  • Gianluca

    I don’t know if it will help but one week ago I called 311 to make a complaint…Who knows maybe if all of us will do so….

  • Gianluca
  • Obama?

    The city & ticket cops probably love this situation. It’s like a speed trap used in rural areas to ticket motorists.

    The tickets & towing are yet another tax on the working class & poor. The rich keep their cars safely in garages or on private property.

  • Andrew Porter

    Gianluca, using Tiny URL—as this blog suggests—your really long URL becomes:


  • AEB

    (Andrew, how does one convert a long URL to a Tiny one?)

  • my2cents

    If only we could mobilize Code Pink to protest this unjust treatment at the hands of oppressive city power. If only there were something tangentially related to this that we could boycott! If there were skincare products being made in these parking spaces, I would wholeheartedly avoid purchasing them.

  • AEB

    Actually, my2, those parking spaces is the worldwide source for gummy worms.

  • T.K. Small

    AEB: At the end of every BHB page is a link to Tiny url. From there it is very straightforward.

  • WillowtownCop

    @ Obama- traffic agents are not in any way shape or form cops. The city decided a few years back to put them in our uniforms and let them drive our cars (now white just like real police cars) in order to fool the public into thinking they are safer because there are more cops on the street. It’s all smoke and mirrors. And writing parking tickets does not make you a cop. My partner and I actually chased one away from a construction site today because he was bothering the workers- they were very thankful.

    Has anyone taken a picture of the obstructed sign and tried to fight the ticket?

    Most tickets have mistakes on them- I’ve probably gotten 5-6 dismissed because I know what’s required and most of them have errors. I have a motorcycle so they can’t scan my registration like they can on a car and actually writing the ticket out proves way to difficult for most meter maids.

  • David G

    the problem is I dont have time to go downtown and fight the ticket.

  • Cranberry Beret

    News flash…you can contest parking tickets at Borough Hall, which last I checked is not exactly a trek from Brooklyn Heights.

  • Obama?

    @WillowtownCop: Yes, these traffic agents & their cars look far too much like real cops, and it’s not by accident as you point out! They are confusing to the public & they make real cops look bad! They need to go their separate ways from our police force, so to say.

  • gatornyc

    It was probably a year ago, but I took photos of the block and sign and sent them in with a written explanation for a “hearing by mail” and won. I may still have the decision. If I do I’ll post it.

  • Hallen

    Has anyone had any luck getting their towing fee back. I was towed from this spot about 2 months ago and I wrote an aggressive letter to the “hearings by mail” but I heard that would only eliminate the $60 ticket and not the ridiculous $180 towing fee.

  • WillowtownCop

    How can you possibly be responsible for paying a towing fee for a ticket that was dismissed?

    If you think the city treats its citizens badly, you should see how it treats its employees.

  • k.geis

    > Has anyone taken a picture of the obstructed sign and tried to fight the ticket?

    It’s your job to know where you can and cannot park; if you can’t see the sign, then either look it up online, or don’t park there. Obscuring the sign doesn’t make it legal.

    Your car’s in the way, and you should be towed. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is a bunch of whining.

    Separately — Isn’t 20 Henry a stalled project?

  • Hallen

    I already paid the towing fee to get my car out of the tow pound, I don’t know how they would recoup it.

    K. Geis- if so many people are in the same situation something tells me that the signage is a little bit more than misleading. So don’t tell us to stop whining- get a life.

  • annoyed

    Sorry, I am with K. Geis. Never occurred to me that parking is legal in that spot and I do own a car. There is a sign with arrows going into both directions in the middle of the block and therefore is valid for the whole block.

    As an arrogant member of MENSA it is fascinating and frightening to leave amongst the stupid.

  • annoyed

    And “to live” it should have been.

  • Mike

    Hallen – Since you’re in mensa, maybe you will know that in NYC, according to the DOT, a single parking sign with arrows in both directions is valid for the whole block if it is the only sign on that block. There are additional parking signs between the No Parking, Temporary Construction sign and the corner crosswalk south of it. The NYC DOT website states that where there are two signs, the more restrictive one is the one enforceable. The two Alternate Side signs that are obscured by the scaffolding, do not have additional temporary No Parking orders posted with them. Therefore they mark the end of the construction No Parking zone. If the Temporary Construction sign is supposed to be for the entire block, the Alternate Side signs either need to come down, or additional Temporary Signs need to be added to them to conform with NYC Parking Signage conventions.

    Oh, and by the way, “And “to live” it should have been.” is not a sentence unless you’re Yoda. =)

  • Mike

    Sorry, the above comment was a reply to annoyed, not Hallen.