After observing low enforcement efforts in his district, Councilman Robert Holden called for a special operation to tackle traffic and parking violations to control reckless driving and illegal parking.
The NYPD Joint Visibility Corridor Enforcement Initiative started in March of 2019 to drive collisions in the city down. The operation provides a highly visible police presence along collision prone corridors throughout the city and analyzes the impact of the initiative thereafter.
The operation started in Holden’s district last week and is set to end on April 3. However, Holden said he will continue to push for better enforcement and a bolder police presence to curb reckless parking and driving.
“It sends a message,” Holden said. “We’re not going to be stepped on. In my district, we weren’t getting enforcement on so many levels. We’re not Manhattan; Queens gets neglected for everything. We didn’t get the attention we were supposed to get. Now, the new administration is addressing this.”
According to the NYPD Traffic Bureau, after just one week of higher police enforcement, 683 moving summonses were issued; 3,248 parking summonses were issued; 112 vehicles were towed; 108 truck violations were issued; and three arrests were made relating to vehicle and traffic laws.
The areas of focus for this operation are along Cypress, Metropolitan and Pennsylvania Avenues in the confines of the 75th, 83rd and 104th precincts.
Holden said that part of the reason he reached out the NYPD for help was because of the horrific accidents that have taken place in his neighborhoods. In early February, a 57-year-old man was struck by two cars within seconds of crossing the intersection at Cooper and Cypress Avenues.
“There’s a lack of respect for human life,” Holden said. “I think [the Department of Transportation] bears some responsibility — they need to make our corners safer. Most of the people who have been killed in my district have been hit in a crosswalk. The more you see these videos and hear of lives lost, the more passionate I get about doing something.”
Another accident took place in Glendale, where two teens were injured after their scooter collided with a car on Cooper Avenue in late February. One teen died a month later. The neighborhood has been in public outcry to make its streets safer to cross. Most recently, over 200 residents rallied at the intersection of Stanhope Street and Fairview Avenue to demand pedestrian signals and a crosswalk. Holden said the most dangerous place to be in New York City is on a crosswalk.
“When my wife goes to work in the morning, I worry about her crossing the street,” Holden said.
Holden’s office encouraged residents to reach out and share what areas need better enforcement. The councilman said that he’s getting phone calls every day, but knows that the issues facing his district are indicative of a larger problem.
“It’s everywhere,” Holden said. “It’s not only my district, it’s citywide. Reckless driving has skyrocketed. There are less police on the streets — a lot of cops have retired or quit. There’s also a lack of respect for the police and anti-police rhetoric.”
Holden thanked the NYPD and traffic unit for addressing the needs of his district. He took to Facebook to share a photo of a car that was about to get a summons for parking in front of a fire hydrant.
“I requested this special operation to supplement enforcement of traffic and parking laws. For example, this vehicle was parked at a fire hydrant for more than three days. It has been ticketed and then towed. We need more of this enforcement throughout the city. Please call our office to report a trouble spot like this.”