Ridgewood’s 104th Precinct working to ward off illegal motorbikes, abandoned vehicles and more 311 complaints

(Photo via Twitter @NYPD104Pct)

Illegal parking, blocked driveways and abandoned vehicles are some of the more common issues at almost every community-driven meeting. The Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale communities know all too well that these issues constantly plague their quality of life. 

The 104th Precinct recently shared several posts on Twitter involving the confiscation of illegal motorbikes and the towing of multiple abandoned vehicles. The efforts to thwart these recurring quality-of-life issues increased over the last two months, at the same time Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer of the 104, took over.

Vehicle towed off the streets of the 104th Precinct due to community complaints. (Photo via Twitter @NYPD104Pct)

“What I tell both my police officers and the public is that going after these bikes actually addresses two conditions going on,” Coleman said in a phone call with QNS. “One, the reckless driving, riding on the sidewalk, public safety issues that go on; and two, citywide and in the 104th, some of the operators — not everybody — but some of the operators of these illegal bikes are actually committing crimes, whether it’s robberies or shootings, and so on.”

During the seasons with warmer weather, illegal motorbikes tend to be on the streets in abundance, but in recent years, even with the cold, riders are persistent, Coleman added.

Abandoned and derelict vehicles, left in one space for a prolonged amount of time or with missing license plates, was another issue the 104 tackled that carried into this year. On the precinct’s Twitter page, multiple vehicles were shown being removed from several blocks in Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.  

“At the end of last year, I put a system in place where several times a month, we’re going to do towing operations and move these cars out,” Coleman said. “We have our list that’s generated from various sources of complaints, and several times a month, our goal is to follow up with these abandoned vehicles and have them towed.”

As a majority of quality-of-life issues remain, help from elected officials also impacts the longevity of these conditions. Councilman Robert Holden has continued to advocate for the neighborhoods in his district, even meeting with the NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell to discuss how his office could offer more assistance addressing quality-of-life issues.

“Maintaining quality of life is critical, which is why I am committed to working hand-in-hand with local precincts to remove abandoned vehicles and enforce laws regarding illegal motorbikes,” Holden said in a statement. “My No. 1 priority is to ensure that my constituents have a safe and peaceful environment in which to live.”

Looking at the 311 complaints

A NYC Open Data set, tracking 311 complaints since 2010, confirms illegal parking to be a majority of problems for all neighborhoods in the confines of the 104th Precinct. 

Through viewing 311 complaints made about illegal parking, blocked driveways, abandoned and derelict vehicles between Jan. 1, 2019, and Jan. 1, 2023, in the 104th Precinct, Ridgewood held about 51% of total complaints. Maspeth took about 28% of the total and Middle Village had 18% of the whole. 

Since Glendale and Ridgewood share a ZIP code, the NYC Open data couldn’t differentiate between the two, so problem areas in both neighborhoods were listed together. Only though looking at complaint addresses that appear multiple times could the distinctions be made.  

In Ridgewood alone, illegal parking takes a majority of complaints when compared to blocked driveways and abandoned and derelict vehicles. Some listed complaint addresses included 67th Place, 64th Street, Harman Street, 60th Lane and 65th Place. Notable abandoned vehicle complaints were listed at 78th Street, 59th Street, 64th Lane, 71st Place and Cody Avenue. 

For Maspeth, problem areas with illegal parking included Caldwell Avenue, 53rd Drive, 58th Road, 60th Avenue, 60th Drive, and 71st Street. Abandoned vehicles were mostly listed on 63rd Place, 57th Road, Fresh Pond Road, Grand Avenue, 59th Street and 53rd Road. 

In Middle Village, illegal parking complaints were mostly found with Metropolitan Avenue, Admiral Avenue and Caldwell Avenue, as repeat addresses. Abandoned vehicles popped up on Pleasantview Street, 80th Street, 81st Street, 79th Place, 84th Street and 60th Drive.

When viewing blocked driveway complaints in all of the listed neighborhoods, it mostly overtook abandoned vehicle complaints in number. There were fewer complaints of derelict vehicles, involving cars that are wreaked or noticeably damaged for a prolonged amount of time. These can sometimes be confused with abandoned vehicle complaints. 

A common issue from looking at the 311 data on NYC Open Data included complaints with no specific incident address listed. Other than the addresses shared for each neighborhood, more than half of the complaints only had cross streets listed separately. 

“We are definitely the highest precinct in the city in terms of the volume of 311 calls that we receive,” Coleman said. “So I think some people get frustrated if they think we don’t respond or we respond late, but we do get a very high volume of 311 calls.”

Coleman also added that the precinct writes between 700 to 900 parking summonses on a monthly basis, responding specifically to 311 complaints.

When it comes to the best ways to help file a 311 complaint, Coleman shared that photos help officers to better understand and locate the problem. Another helpful tip involves preemptively writing a complaint to file early, so officers can address the issue in a timely manner.