The New York City Police Department has doled out more parking summonses in the Brooklyn Heights area this year than in any other precinct in New York City, an analysis of police statistics shows.
As of May 20, 19,672 parking summonses have been issued in the 84th Precinct, which encompasses the Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill sections of Brooklyn. The total is more than double the amount of summonses issued in the majority of precincts in the city, and it surpasses by about 3,000 the number of summonses issued so far in the heavily trafficked Midtown South precinct, which encompasses Times Square and Madison Square Garden.
With about 1,000 more parking summonses issued in the Brooklyn Heights precinct this year compared to the same period last year, the neighborhood has surged ahead of the two precincts in which police handed out the most violations last year, the Kensington and East New York sections of Brooklyn.
Parking summonses in Brooklyn Heights have been on the rise for the past two years, the statistics show, increasing by about 25% during that period. Some experts say the spike is likely the result of a standoff between community members and the police over the alleged abuse of government-issued parking permits in the neighborhood.
Home to federal and state courthouses as well as a number of city agencies, Brooklyn Heights has many curbside parking spots that are zoned for drivers with government parking permits. A study released in 2006 by a transit advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives, found that about three of every four parking permit holders in the city used them illegally. The study also found that police officers were responsible for the largest share of the violations.
In response to community complaints, the police department and Mayor Bloomberg have pledged to cut down on drivers who use their permits without a public purpose; the rise in summonses may be a tangible result of their efforts, the chairman of the transit and transportation committee of a local community group, the Boerum Hill Association, Matt Rogers, said.
Community members on the Upper East Side, another neighborhood with noticeably high numbers of parking summonses, have also lobbied the city to cut down on illegal permit parking, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, Matthew Roth said. However, police-issued parking summonses have declined in the East Side precinct this year by about 3,000, the statistics show.
The NYPD declined to comment.