This morning, Transportation Alternatives released its study that shows way too much illegal parking in Chinatown and in that "Civic Center" area of town where the police headquarters and courts are. From the TA press release:
The survey found that between 9 and 10 am on the morning of March 29 there were 99 cars illegally parked on sidewalks and in front of fire hydrants in the area and 16 cars illegally parked blocking a pedestrian refuge island. More than 90% of the cars illegally parked had parking placards that allow for free parking in legal parking spots during "official business," but under no circumstances are to be used to park on sidewalks, in front of fire hydrants or in other illegal ways.
Now, it's bad enough that there's already barely anywhere to walk or drive anywhere in Chinatown - but cars parking on sidewalks? That's crazy! The Rev. Raymond Nobiletti of the Church of Transfiguration told the Daily News that many cars with city placards park in front of the church, "It's a problem when we have funerals. There's nothing like carrying a coffin over a double-parked car." Oy vey. Double parking in Chinatown is almost like a way of life - and it's a personal pet peeve of Gothamist's (we spent many childhood hours double parked in a car on Mott or Elizabeth Streets while our parents went grocery shopping as we feared the police would arrest us for double parking and toss us into The Tombs). We're not sure anything would solve it except cheaper parking facilities, but getting illegally parked cars out of the would be a start.
Read the PDF of Transportation Alternatives' study, which includes mention of their volunteers getting harrassed by the police for taking pictures. We asked the Museum of the Chinese in the America' William Dao for the best shortcut in Chinatown and he suggested any street parallel to Canal. And the Mayor took away the lights and sirens from city employees' city cars when one of his deputy mayors abused them (she was trying to get to work faster).