Municipal Priorities

Not only can you park in a bike lane to go to church, some people use their official cars to do it.

Not only did the police countenance the huge bike-lane blockage by Our Lady of Lebanon parishioners today, but instead of writing any tickets, I was asked by an officer what I was doing taking photographs.

When I inquired if that was illegal, he told me I better not scratch a car (which I wasn’t touching).

A Henry Street resident I spoke with, not only cited the danger of cyclists having to divert into traffic from Montague to State Street, but said the weekly parking on the sidewalk causes the pavement to crack. Something the homeowners are responsible for fixing.

More here.

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  • Jack Crosby

    Just another case of uneven police treatment in Brooklyn. When the cops all double park at Fascati on Henry St, is anyone surprised by this treatment? As Lord Denning said “Those of the law are not above the law”. Alas, some of those of the law believe otherwise…

  • Heightsman

    I drive to church each week in Carroll Gardens and park in legal spots. It bugs the crap out of me that others who come to BH think it’s OK to park on both sides near their respective place of worship. How is a fire truck or other large emergency vehicles to navigate these narrow streets?

  • skunky

    as you know it isn’t illegal to photograph parked cars. The cop you encountered was dong what most cops try to do, abuse their authority and hope you don’t know any better.

    So who is the big shot who attends church there that has an NYPD detail covering them? Let’s shame them. Maybe send these photos to the Mayor’s office to complain?

  • Russelfe

    This has been going on so long that when I first complained to our City Council member, it was Abe Gerges. Things have gotten so much worse over the years. Yesterday all the meters on Remsen between Clinton and Henry had No Parking Sunday signs and the spots were used by parishioners with their Our Lady of Lebanon signs in the window. It’s now official that our street is the church parking lot.
    Our current Council Member is indifferent to the situation. After my letters were ignored for months I finally received a reply from Marian Wood in his office. She told me that I am the first person ever to raise the issue.

  • Big Dave

    I know of churches that work out deals with parking garages for reduced rates over a specific time period. Let’s get these good churchgoers to be good citizens, too and remind them that public transportation and public parking are the only alternatives. Obviously someone or some people with influence attend this church… @Sabrianna, I would love to know the specific statute to which you are referring regarding photography and trespassing!

  • T.K. Small

    Sabrianna: This is a blog where ideas and opinions are freely exchanged. Whether directly or indirectly, Skunky was asked for an opinion. Also, you spoke about democracy, an element of which is having a civil conversation. Somehow, telling someone to “keep that trap of yours closed” doesn’t rise to a proper level of civility.

  • PJL

    Why is the plate number obscured? I see the twitter link, but is there a way to directly e-mail this page?

    I would suggest to 311, Mayor’s office and Public Advocate….

  • PBK

    I obscured the link as per the editor of BHB. His blog, his rules.

    As you say, it’s up on my blog.

  • PBK

    >Now taking photographs of a building is illegal and considered an invasion of privacy.

    Not in this country, thank God. For that matter, you can take pictures of people on the street, too. Cars, dogs, and trees, too.

  • PJL

    Thanks, PBK.

    “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
    -Louis D. Brandeis

  • Arch Stanton

    sabrianna, no one asked for your moronic opinion either, yet you freely open your trap.

  • nabeguy

    One of society’s norms, sabrianna is that we try not tell someone to keep their trap closed. It’s a tad hypocritical to discuss democracy on the one hand, and then try to deny one someone their right to free speech.

  • Arch Stanton

    sabrianna, you clearly don’t have a clue as to what the “norms of society”, a “democratic stand point”, or “a liberal way ” are. Nor do you know anything of the law “taking photographs of a building is illegal”, wrong. Please go back to wherever you came from.

  • nabeguy

    Really no reason to take that road, Arch. We are all free to our own opinions, no matter how mis-informed they may be, or how foolish they make us look. We need all voices to be included in this debate, if for no other reason than to get our knickers in a twist and prompt a dialogue.

  • TunaLoaf

    Next Sunday, I’m going to hop a turnstile to get to church, but I’ll have a big sign around my neck that says “attending liturgy.” We’ll see if I get the same treatment from the cops as the people illegally parked on BH sidewalks.

  • Gerrry

    This is consdiered Handicapped Parking in NYC and when these church zones are taken the disabled have no place to park.

    I have a 5 Boros Handicapped Parking Placard and I can park legally in front of Our Lady of Lebanon and other places that say No Parking Anytime it does NOT mean me a poor disabled person who can not afford parking garages.

    Is it Bike Lanes or Handicapped Parking for the disabled which is more important here?

  • Heightsman

    @TunaLoaf = Nice. At least some “funny” after the back and forth.

  • WillowtownCop

    What kind of “official” car is it?

  • T.K. Small

    Gerrry: As a fellow Handicap Parking Permit holder, the bicycle lanes are not available for our parking use. Typically the signs next to the bicycle lanes indicate “No Standing”.

  • Peter Kaufman

    Thank you. The sign next to the SUV, says in fact “No Stopping Anytime” (more visible here).

    In any event, this car didn’t have a handicap permit. His “permit” is that he happens to have a certain religious belief.

    Is it Bike Lanes or Handicapped Parking for the disabled which is more important here?

    That’s a false and odious argument, but bike lanes, which are put in for the safety of cyclists, are pretty important.

    Why not say, “Handicapped Parking” for the disabled or traffic lights, which is more important?

    Also, if bike lanes are respected, you might just end up with the need for fewer Handicap permits. Imagine that.

  • nabeguy

    Peter, care to elaborate on that last line a little further?

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Nabe, I think Peter is implying; if the bike lanes are kept clear there won’t be as many catastrophic injuries to bikers, resulting in them becoming handicapped.

  • T.K. Small

    Peter: I should have also included that parking in the “No Stopping” is also prohibited.

    With respect to the last part of your comment, this is similar to the arguments that Christopher Reeve used to make regarding the “cure” of spinal cord injuries. Reeve took a public position that if spinal cord injuries were cured, the government would not need to spend money on curb cuts.

  • Peter

    Exactly right. I’d love to see wheelchairs relegated to the same place ‘iron lungs’ went.

  • Topham Beauclerk


    “where ideas can be collaborated”

    People collaborate, not ideas. Your language is as offensive as it is illiterate. It’s hardly surprising that you’re quick to notice condescension. I imagine people often condescend to you.

  • Tony

    @sabrianna: turn your spell-check on.

  • T.K. Small

    Peter: Unfortunately I think that focusing on “cure” considerations takes away from the civil rights component of looking at and developing public policies concerning people with disabilities. What I did not mention in my earlier comment was that I am/was not a big fan of Reeve. From my perspective, he elected himself president of a community that already had many more than competent leaders. Through his exaggerated media connections, the public took his message as the voice of the disabled.

  • Peter

    Oh I agree with you there. Who appointed him? It’s just because he is telegenic and media-savvy, and of course, was famous.

    It is the same with lots of groups. The same people who I see always as representatives of the ‘voice’ of 9/11′ families, hardly represent the views of a very diverse group of people.

  • Dave

    Last fall I remember reading the 84th precinct and the church-goers came to a “compromise” that allowed them to illegally park in the bike lane.

    It doesn’t bother me personally. But if it did, I would certainly draw attention to the ‘significant’ damage being done to the sidewalk. And stage a protest where everyone rides bikes up and down the sidewalk all service long. As is clearly indicated by the sign in this picture, even the laws set in ‘stone’ have multiple interpretations in NYC.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Our Lady of Lebanon is a great asset to the community, but I have noticed these cars on previous Sundays and it really bothers me.

    The issues are:
    1) Arbitrary/Unequal enforcement of city laws by police
    2) Safety, usability and integrity of citywide bike lane system
    3) Adequate sidewalk egress for pedestrians
    4) Encouraging automobile use in mass-transit-rich community
    5) Property damage to sidewalks

    Curious as to BHA’s stance on this issue?