Save Your Neighborhood! Call 311 Today

Penske truck parked on Ave T & East 5th takes up several parking spots. The truck owner gets a safe place for this vehicle to be parked and free advertising, to boot. Photo Credit: The Jewish Voice


For over 50 years, the Jewish neighborhood in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn has always prided itself on the fact that the residents of this pristine community have joined forces to collectively work on maintaining the safety, security and impressive appearance of the cherished place that they call home.

Recently, the Jewish Voice learned that this sense of community security has been flagrantly violated by the presence of enigmatic vehicles that are arbitrarily parked on the streets. Back in 2019, the Jewish Voice reported on this issue, but now in 2021, it appears that these trucks, trailers and recreational vehicles have resurfaced.

David Ben Hooren, the publisher of the Jewish Voice has noted that the way in which each resident of the Gravesend community can take action on this issue is by calling 311 and registering complaints with city officials. He said that in order for this campaign to be effective, “every one of us should be calling 311 and if necessary, we should be calling several times a day. In that way, the city will get a strong message from us that we will not accept the situation as it is.”

Spray Foam Insulation truck parked in front of 444 Avenue T for several months. Yet another hideous eyesore in a neighborhood that normally maintains such as impressive appearance. Tickets are issued for violating the rules about allowing city street sweepers to gain access to a parking spot but these owners absorb the ticket fee just to have a permanent parking home.

He added: “In a neighborhood that is so densely populated as ours, having these vehicles in the area that are clearly not owned by residents makes the parking situation even more difficult than it already is.” He queried: “How can people come to synagogue every day, if they cannot find parking? And why are these vehicles parked in areas that are in such close proximity to synagogues, schools and homes? That should be a cause of paramount concern for every person living in this neighborhood.”

According to sources in the Gravesend neighborhood, these vehicles not only represent a loathsome eyesore in an aesthetic sense but they occupy not just one parking space but sometimes five or six parking spaces, depending in the length of the vehicle. Because parking spaces are difficult enough to find without these vehicles taking up the streets, it is making it even more challenging for local residents to find a parking spot. To add to the problem, these vehicles remain on the streets for weeks and months on end in the same parking spots

The investigative team of reporters that were dispatched by the Jewish Voice in 2019 to meticulously research this jarring situation revealed that such vehicles include clothing drop off vans, dilapidated late model recreational vehicles, a variety of trucks, trailers, and non-commercial vehicles that are intentionally decorated as commercial vehicles.

Also calling for residents to phone 311 and register their complaints with the city of New York was Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of Community Board 15. In 2019, she told the Jewish Voice that this has been an ongoing dilemma and one that demands immediate action. She too called upon community members to contact 311. Concerning the clothing drop off vehicles that attract people who attempt to crawl into the vehicle to steal clothing, she mentioned that in the areas in which these vehicles are parked they inevitably attract putrid filth that can lead to a significant increase in vermin.

“I can tell you that I witnessed the disgusting mess outside the home of someone I know. This mess was caused by those congregating around the clothing drop off vehicle. I called the police about one vehicle in particular that was located on Avenue X and they responded quite quickly. The next day, however, these clothing vans were right back on the streets, so the problem has not been resolved” Ms. Scavo said.