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Doorman says Slope ‘parking ring’ is real — and necessary

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A doorman at a posh Prospect Park West building has cracked the code of secrecy about a parking spot-saving scheme, saying he’s forced to abandon the unwritten ethics of the street because parking in Park Slope is so competitive.

A concierge admitted his involvement in what neighbors call a “parking ring,” telling this newspaper that when he moves cars for tenants on street cleaning days, he intentionally leaves un-parkable half-spaces in front of or behind the vehicles. When it comes time to move another tenant’s car, he inches the first vehicle forward — creating a parking spot where none existed before.

“I just use my car to hold a spot for them,” explained Vick Narain, a doorman at 44 Prospect Park West. “The minute there’s a space, it will be gone within five minutes; someone’s always looking for parking around here.”

Narain said he also saves street spaces for tenants in his building by standing in the road on Tuesday mornings, when alternate-side parking rules are enforced.

The Seinfeld-style spot-snagging strategy angers already stressed-out motorists, who say the doormen’s antics — and the neighborhood’s larger parking crunch — should warrant action from city officials.

“It’s not a joke or sensational thing,” said Maura Collins, a Park Slope resident. “It’s a real problem.”

Other doormen said they sometimes park cars for tips, but claim they never spot-save.

“I’m just doing people a favor — if they want to give me a tip they can,” said George, a doorman at 27 Prospect Park West. “It’s not like I’m charging $100.”

Residents on nearby Montgomery Place have for months accused doormen of running a “parking ring,” which is not actually illegal, at least according to written law.

“It’s not criminal — but it’s certainly not very neighborly,” Detective Cheryl Crispin said in February.

A superintendent at 27 Prospect Park refuted allegations of spot-saving, claiming doormen “are just helping out four or five people ” by moving double-parked cars to keep traffic flowing during street cleaning days.

But some Park Slope drivers are fighting what they consider a serious parking problem: holding block association meetings and even anonymously issuing homemade parking “citations” to drivers who leave too much wasted curb-space in front of or behind their cars.

The whole thing may seem fit for a sit-com — but not everybody is laughing.

“Sometimes you spend 30 or 45 minutes driving around looking for a spot,” said Carolyn Byrd. “It gets really contentious.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

benti from brooklyn says:
What happened to the legitimate pursuit of the Parking Permit for neighborhood residents in South Brooklyn as other 'Progressive' Cities have done over the years ie: Wash DC, Boston, Hoboken yada yada yada...??? Do we who stayed and never left Brooklyn in the '60's, '70's, & '80's when all the others 'escaped the crime, the dirt & the schools for the safety, the green & the schools of the suburbs (Staten Island, NJ, PA, Nassau & Suffolk) continue to be penalized? We who continue to raise families, get to work on time, pay taxes, maintain homes & VOTE continue to be inconvenienced, put at risk, pollute our 'hoods looking for parking, or pay exorbitant garage rents just so that these same people can come into our streets everyday, park their cars & take public transportation into the City. I understand why many of our Progressive Politicians want to severely limit cars from the Urban Metro area, so that they become more livable, limit pollution & are people friendly. But wouldn't giving us good guys Permits (even at a yearly Fee - which the City could surly use for Bicycle lanes) make these Suburban Citizens leave their cars home and take Buses & Trains to work and allow us to a little Freedom to live in peace with our own cars and families?

benti
May 18, 2012, 7:19 am
benti from brooklyn says:
What happened to the legitimate pursuit of the Parking Permit for neighborhood residents in South Brooklyn as other 'Progressive' Cities have done over the years ie: Wash DC, Boston, Hoboken yada yada yada...??? Do we who stayed and never left Brooklyn in the '60's, '70's, & '80's when all the others 'escaped the crime, the dirt & the schools for the safety, the green & the schools of the suburbs (Staten Island, NJ, PA, Nassau & Suffolk) continue to be penalized? We who continue to raise families, get to work on time, pay taxes, maintain homes & VOTE continue to be inconvenienced, put at risk, pollute our 'hoods looking for parking, or pay exorbitant garage rents just so that these same people can come into our streets everyday, park their cars & take public transportation into the City. I understand why many of our Progressive Politicians want to severely limit cars from the Urban Metro area, so that they become more livable, limit pollution & are people friendly. But wouldn't giving us good guys Permits (even at a yearly Fee - which the City could surly use for Bicycle lanes) make these Suburban Citizens leave their cars home and take Buses & Trains to work and allow us to a little Freedom to live in peace with our own cars and families?

benti
May 18, 2012, 7:19 am
trans alt from my bike says:
No Benti, you need to give up your car if you want to stay here. Also, street parking must be taken away, or have true market rates, so suburbanites stop driving here.
May 18, 2012, 7:26 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Life's hard when you can't get something for free.
May 18, 2012, 7:40 am
benti from brooklyn says:

trans alt from my bike: Are you a OWS sympathizer? It seems that you are not very Democratic nor especially Bright. Taking people's Rights away because you don't agree with them will get you sidelined. Get a JOB, buy a car and take a long drive to the country, enjoy the fresh air and stay there.
May 18, 2012, 7:52 am
ty from pps says:
Benti -- How exactly is free (taxerpayer paid) storage of your private property a "right"?!?!?!
May 18, 2012, 8:46 am
ty from pps says:
Benti -- How exactly is free (taxerpayer paid) storage of your private property a "right"?!?!?!
May 18, 2012, 8:46 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
well, either put it in a garage or go carless. i know it's easy for me to say since i always find street parking but if i couldn't, i would give up my car.

and yes, it is unfair that the doorman do this but there are just not enough spots in park slope for everyone to have a car so suck it up and get a zipcar.
May 18, 2012, 9:32 am
jay from pslope says:
I understand why people are upset about this, it really is piggish behavior, and its the kind of thing that makes people who don't live in New York think this city is nothing but a bunch of stupid angry loser jerks.
But really, we are talking about 4 or 5 parking spots in a neighborhood of 65,000.That really is not a big impact in the grand scheme of things.
The things about park slope that make it nice is a) the park b) the fact that things are close by and you can walk to it, which is due to the population density that is high enough to support a lot of different businesses.
The downside to that is that there is only so much space, so if you spread the population out to get more parking, you lose the density required to have all these nice places in the neighborhood that you can just walk to.
There just is not enough parking for everyone to have a car in Park Slope, so either deal with the fact that parking is horrible, or move to a neighborhood that is not as densely populated, but you can't have it both ways.
May 18, 2012, 9:46 am
trans alt from my bike says:
Yes benti, I have a job and am a OWS supporter, and if I want to go to the country, I'll rent a zipcar. You are the one infringing on my rights by polluting my air, yet you demand free storage on a public street that my tax dollars contribute to. You are the freeloader.
May 18, 2012, 10:10 am
Gary from Park Slope says:
... or pay for parking or give up your car.
May 18, 2012, 10:24 am
Joe from Crown Heights says:
Agreed Jay. Right now there are four options:

1. Suffer the aggravation and indignity of circling for hours and clawing and fighting amongst your neighbors for free parking on public streets.

2. Pay $300/month to park it in a private garage. That is approximately the current market price for avoiding the hassle of parking on-street in Park Slope.

3. Live without owning a car. Borrow or share cars, use car rentals, Zipcar, taxis, bikes, walking, and public transportation.

4. Move to another property somewhere else that has available parking

If you select option #1, that is your choice. You could live anywhere else in the world. You could have a car or not (most don't). You could pay to store it elsewhere. But when you chose to engage in the infamous and epic battle of free on-street parking in the Slope you have signed yourself up for this, so deal with it. There simply are far more apartments than parking spots on the street so not everybody can have one. If you are willing to make the sacrifice of all this aggravation to get one, don't go whining to the paper about it. It is the lay of the land and you knew what you were getting into. Until people can get behind paying for parking through meters or permits, the pathetic saga shall continue.
May 18, 2012, 11:29 am
o3 says:
get a microcar which can back into a half space & gets like 80mpg.
May 18, 2012, 12:25 pm
Stu from PPW says:
Forget about cyclists. The real truth is that drivers hate other drivers most of all.
May 18, 2012, 2:55 pm
mike from GP says:
So obviously the result of underpriced parking. Yet (most) Park Slope car owners would whine if the City tried to rationalize the price of parking and prevent this problem.
May 18, 2012, 4:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Public parking is made for public. It's actually illegal to reserve these spots for others. If you really want a spot all to yourself, then buy an apartment or house that has either its own garage or driveway, so you won't ever have to worry about that. On a side note, I really think that Oscar Fuller should have been acquitted, especially when that woman punched him first, which made him not solely responsible for his actions, though it was ruled a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Still, reserving parking spots meant for everyone should be cracked down on.
May 18, 2012, 5:32 pm
Jenny from Harlem says:
Would someone please fill my hot honey hole with squooge?
May 19, 2012, 7:19 am
taxpayer from NY says:
Get rid of that rediculous bike lane on Prospect Park West and put in angle parking. Get rid of those farmers markets at Grand army plaza and 15 th street turn them into parking spots. Let people buy in the local stores and support our local retail merchants.
May 19, 2012, 4:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That is very true taxpayer. Seriously, can't farmer's markets find empty lots to sell their foods? No argument on the bike lanes either. Nevertheless, there should be crackdowns on those trying to take public parking spaces from others. Let's not forget those that literally block public spaces throughout the city and charging people a lot of money to park there when they really didn't cost that much or where for free. I can still remember when this was being covered on the news years back, and this is still an issue today. Some of them are using construction plates or markers from either DEP or NYPD, which were probably stolen, and using them to block the spots for who they want to use them for. This is clearly illegal and needs to be stopped at once. It's not like their names are on those spots.
May 19, 2012, 5:29 pm
Ian from Williamsburg says:
What it really sounds like is needed here is a well placed key running up and down the street.
May 19, 2012, 9 pm
Ian from Williamsburg says:
You people truly disgust me. I'd really love to shiit all over you and your filthy, hot children. This is very important stuff.
How do you sleep at night, knowing that you're nothing bur a bunch of selfish cuum holes?
May 20, 2012, 4:24 am
Paula says:
Not only is this illegal - it's immoral and just downright ugly.
You're worse than dirt. Dirty dirt.
I want to wash my eyes after witnessing this depraved ignognacy.
May 20, 2012, 8:18 am
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
It's illegal bfd - immoral not - banging someones wife is imoral but holding a parking space is not. I was 14 or 15 and remember sitting in cars on drivers side to avoid a tick or hold a spot - law of the jungle we call Broklyn, I would rather bank someones wife though as its a hell of a lot more fun. Mazel tov
May 20, 2012, 8:37 am
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
bang not bank that is - its not always about the numbers lol
May 20, 2012, 10:55 am
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
bang not bank that is lol
May 20, 2012, 10:56 am
Chas from Avondale Estates, GA says:
Should come South, where the trees and parking are plentiful.
May 21, 2012, 5:47 am

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