NEW YORK, NY — Believe it or not, fewer car windshields got slapped with parking tickets in Brooklyn last year.
Overall, cops wrote 59,589 less tickets in 2007, an 11% drop from 2006, preliminary city records show.
Stats in the Extended Article.
“If that means enforcement officers are finally getting the message to exercise some discretion and not to boost numbers, then it’s a good thing,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge), whose neighborhood saw a slight decline in tickets.
Robberies and burglaries in Brooklyn were down by nearly 8%. Car theft also saw a 17% decrease boroughwide, though car owners in East New York and East Flatbush might feel otherwise – those nabes had the most cars stolen last year.
But it’s parking tickets that really get Brooklynites up in arms.
Bay Ridge residents often complain about excessive ticketing in the area.
“It’s one thing to enforce the rules, but to harass people and give tickets unfairly – it’s almost the NYPD traffic enforcement’s way of saying ‘gotcha,’” said Gentile.
Midwood and Flatbush residents are seeing orange from the 44,911 tickets issued in the police precinct covering those neighborhoods last year – more than in any other Brooklyn precinct, although it was a 9% decrease from 2006.
Residents of Brooklyn Heights, which ranked second-highest in the number of parking tickets, say that cops are all too eager to pull out their pads.
“[Traffic agents] are overly diligent about ticketing as many cars as they can,” said Judy Stanton, long-time resident and executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association.
“If you come back from shopping, and park in front of the house and put your blinkers on and run inside with multiple loads, you’ll get a ticket.”
Over in Sheepshead Bay, residents had to fend off 8% fewer tickets than in 2006 – but that wasn’t the case for Zhanna Strakhan, 27.
“The cops are brutal,” she said. “I parked at a meter and before I was able to get out of my car, this guy was already writing me a ticket.
”I ‘politely’ told him that I can’t pay [the meter] telepathically, that I have to get out of my car to pay it first. … He agreed that it probably made sense that I couldn’t put coins in the meter without parking first.”
Farther north, the number of issued parking tickets in Sunset Park shot up by more than 25% from 2006, and moving violations increased by almost 16%. On the upside, car thefts in the area plummeted by 26%.
Police Department officials did not return calls for comment on the latest figures.
See your neighborhood’s stats
Numbers don’t lie. Graph at right breaks down, precinct by precinct, the amount of tickets for parking illegally.
THE BROOKLYN PRECINCTS WITH THE MOST PARKING TICKETS IN 2007
1. 70th PRECINCT, MIDWOOD, FLATBUSH 44,911
2. 84th PRECINCT, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS 44,044
3. 75th PRECINCT, EAST NEW YORK 37,798
4. 67th PRECINCT, EAST FLATBUSH 23,821
5. 61st PRECINCT, SHEEPSHEAD BAY 23,097
THE BROOKLYN PRECINCTS WITH THE LEAST PARKING TICKETS IN 2007
1. 90th PRECINCT, WILLIAMSBURG 9,479
2. 81st PRECINCT, BEDFORD-STUYVESANT 9,971
3. 94th PRECINCT, GREENPOINT 10,499
4. 77th PRECINCT, CROWN HEIGHTS 12,530
5. 88th PRECINCT, CLINTON HILL, FT. GREENE 12,543