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After several months of complaints from residents of a new condominium tower in Long Island City, the police have moved a restricted parking area that was in front of the building.
Residents of 549 Borden Ave. now have about 15 parking spots on the curb to call their own after the city Department of Transportation removed the bright red “no standing” signs.
“It took probably six months from the initial petition I put together to the time it was moved, which was just days before Christmas,” said Marty Towey, a condo owner. “DOT does work — it just takes them a little time for them to do it.”
Towey, a retired FBI agent, attended at least two Community Board 2 meetings to complain about what he called excessive police parking in the blocks surrounding the 108th Precinct station house.
“What I learned from DOT is that these spots aren’t supposed to be used for police personal cars, they’re supposed to be used for official cars,” he said. “I never had a reserve parking for my personal car in my 26 years I worked for the Bureau in New York City.”
But the police parking spots are not gone entirely — the city agreed to move them over to Fifth Street, on the west side of the block.
“So we just kicked the can down the street a little,” said CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley at the board’s monthly meeting last Thursday.
Conley said parking has periodically been a sore spot between civilians and the 108th Precinct, noting officers once parked their vehicles on the sidewalk at Murray Playground. One day when he complained, he said officers came by, checked the car and left without doing anything.
When he stopped the police, they demanded to see his ID, he said.
“It really got to the point where it got ugly,” he said. “I actually thought they were going to take me away in cuffs.”
The 108th is in a distinctive spot in Queens because its station is located so close to the No. 7 train.
Towey said the 108th has 55 parking spaces, which he claims is more room than any other precinct in the city. An NYPD spokesman said there are no specific numbers of parking spots assigned to any precinct in the city, only general space reserved around the station houses.
The 108th precinct has 162 police officers assigned to the command, the police spokesman said, though he was not sure how many officers worked the average size shift.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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