Parking issues abound at Police Academy

By Madina Toure

A College Point resident said he is upset that recruits from the Police Academy in the neighborhood are parking in residential areas.

Richard Erdey, 43, who lives on 128th Street between 23rd and 25th avenues, said recruits from the academy on College Point Boulevard and 28th Avenue routinely park on the nearby residential streets, specifically 128th, 129th and 130th streets between 23rd and 25th avenues.

The NYPD could not be reached for comment.

On Monday, Erdey said he saw that they had parked on 25th Avenue from Ulmer Street all the way to the academy.

He spoke with the sergeant of operations at the Police Academy who told him that the city had plans for a certain amount of parking but that it could not afford to finish it.

“He said, ‘What can I tell you? It’s a public street,’ and I said, ‘Let’s go back to the agreement that the community board had with the Police Academy or NYPD, the city,’” Erdey said. “It was supposed to be a minimum delay or problem and he said, ‘Well, it’s a public street unless they’re blocking a driveway.’”

He added that although some of the parked cars belong to a construction company in the area, most of the cars belong to the recruits.

Gene Kelty, chairman of Community Board 7, said the NYPD had promised that parking would not be an issue, saying the board expects the department to tell the recruits to either park onsite or take mass transit.

He said the board has forwarded the parking complaint to its contacts in the Police Department and noted that it is hard to address the parking issue because no one is entitled to a parking spot in a residential area.

“We wanted all parking on site because we didn’t want this to happen,” Kelty said.

He said the Police Academy project got scaled down into phases during former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, noting that the first phase was building part of the parking lot and the classroom area.

“It’s very nice,” he said. “We were happy that they got a state-of-the-art facility, it’s just that they were not supposed to impact the area.”

In a letter dated Nov. 20 to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on behalf of Erdey, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) asked Bratton to review the parking issue and get back to him with his findings.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour[email protected]local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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