Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
Councilman Holden and his legislative director, Daniel Kurzyna, speak about his bill on illegal driveways and other legislation at a June 6 meeting in his Middle Village office.

Parking in Queens becomes more difficult by the day, and one local City Council member wants to stop people from getting ticketed for parking in front of driveways that aren’t legal.

Councilman Robert Holden introduced a bill on May 23 that would require the NYPD to verify whether or not a driveway or curb cut was created legally by the city before issuing a ticket to a car parked in front of it.

According to Holden, it’s becoming more common in his 30th District (including Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and parts of Woodhaven and Woodside) and around the city to see homeowners spray paint lines on curbs, park in front of their stoops or front doors and even have a private contractor install concrete to make their driveway bigger and cut more of the curb down to the road.

It’s often done to create more parking for the homeowner, but it’s illegal and Holden explained that it’s an “offshoot of overdevelopment.”

“It’s going to be an even bigger problem than it is now, because as more and more housing is built the less parking is available,” Holden said at a public meeting in his Middle Village office on June 6. “It’s also a fire complaint, because if you park in front of your door you’re blocking the entrance, and we can’t accept this.”

Holden explained further, in a June 12 call with QNS, that the NYPD and Department of Buildings (DOB) would have to come up with a system for checking on the spot whether a driveway is legal or not, most likely involving an online portal that can be accessed by mobile phones or police computers.

If the system gets implemented and a police officer discovers that a car is parked in front of an illegal driveway, the car will not be ticketed. Punishing the building’s owner for creating the illegal driveway, however, is not as simple as the officer writing them a ticket instead, Holden said.

For that, a DOB complaint would have to be filled out, or an officer would have to witness a vehicle drive up over the curb to park in front of a stoop or front door. Holden said he may propose a change to that policy that would be attached to this bill.

Yet, the overdevelopment in question that has created this problem also includes the illegal conversions that have been widely complained about within Holden’s district.

What we’re seeing  is a lot of investment coming in real estate and they’re trying to squeeze every inch out of the property,” Holden said. “This neighborhood has been doing basement rentals for over 40 years, and it’s gotten a lot worse because of the housing stock.”

While the bill on illegal driveways awaits review in the Council Committee on Public Safety, Holden plans to introduce more legislation to combat housing issues, he said. One of the former civic leader’s ideas includes the formation of a task force to report properties that are being illegally converted that would include the members of the civic groups in his district.


Join The Discussion

Related Stories
Woman punches employee in the head during robbery at Fresh Pond Farm Market in Ridgewood
Woman punches employee in the head during robbery at Fresh Pond Farm Market in Ridgewood
Motorcyclist dies in crash in St. Albans
Motorcyclist dies in crash in St. Albans

Skip to toolbar