2009-04-15 / Front Page

LIC Neighbors Hail Cop For Parking Relief

LIC Neighbors Hail Cop For Parking Relief

 

By LIZ GOFF
A group of Long Island City neighbors joined forces recently and called on city officials to put the brakes on a parking plague and a pattern of systemic abuse they suffered at the hands of a local livery service.


Residents around 35th Street and 37th Avenue have returned home from work  for some six months to find there were no available parking spaces in their area.


Tempers flared when the residents realized their parking spaces were being filled with vehicles operated by the Nobel Limousine Service, a high end livery service that boasted a fleet of more than 50 vehicles, including stretch limousines and large capacity vans.


The owner of the livery service seemed cooperative and willing to work out differences with residents who complained to him, even assuring them that his employees would move their vehicles into a company garage. “Ring the bell and let us know you need a spot,” the owner said. “We will move a car for you.”


Things changed, however, when the company owner went home for the night. Drivers at the livery service balked at  moving their vehicles. Jasmina Sakipi, who helped form the protest said, “Workers laughed at residents who made the request, dishing out a nightly dose of arrogance and a blatant disregard for people living in the area.”


Things reached a flash point this February when Nobel drivers ratcheted up their verbal abuse. In March, drivers threatened residents with physical harm during disputes involving Nobel’s parking practices.


Sakipi and other residents circulated a petition requesting help from the local community board, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, the 114th Police Precinct, City Councilmember Eric Gioia and the Dutch Kills Civic Association, stating the situation had turned from inconvenient to intolerable.


One night when Nobel Limousine had more than 10 vehicles taking up parking spaces on 35th Street NYPD Traffic Safety Officer John Glynn of the 114th Precinct went to Nobel on behalf of area residents and as a result began issuing summonses to Nobel’s vehicles.


In 24 hours, Glynn cleared 35th Street of the livery cars and convinced Nobel drivers and employees to park elsewhere.


 Glynn backed his words with action, issuing summonses and maintaining patrols and enforcement necessary to address the condition.


Sakipi mailed a letter to 114th Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Paul Vorbeck, thanking him for Glynn’s handling of the 35th Street parking problem. In the letter, signed by 62 area residents and business owners, Sakipi described Glynn as a “quiet, decisive, efficient, professional and effective problem solver” who “walked into chaos and took immediate action to clear the air” on the street.


Vorbeck described Glynn as “an asset in moving and clearing the flow of traffic in greater Astoria” and as a “quiet, aggressive officer who pursues violators to get things done for the good of the entire community”.


Sakipi said her neighbors are grateful for the speed and efficiency Glynn showed in correcting the parking conditions on and around 35th Street, and they have confidence that Glynn will maintain what he achieved.


“It’s like a miracle,” Sakipi said. “This police officer pulled up one night and gave our neighborhood back to us. He is a master problem solver and we are eternally grateful for his efforts on our behalf.”

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