• August 23, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Pols call for more RV enforcement

Holden and Koslowitz introduce bill to increase police jurisdiction

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:07 pm, Thu Aug 8, 2019.

With an increased number of recreational vehicles and mobile homes parking on city streets, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) have introduced a bill which would allow officers to summons these vehicles for illegal commercial parking overnight.

“You can’t do business on the street. You just can’t set up a shop and say, ‘I’m on public property. I’m going to sell my items here.’ You shouldn’t be able to live in an RV,” Holden said. “And if you do there should be designated areas, let’s say parking lots that they could actually lease from a private company. But not on public land.

“Not only is it unsightly and it’s improper but how are they getting rid of their garbage? How are they cleaning their toilets?”

Holden said that in the past the RVs were usually on the outskirts but now they’re seen in many locations in the neighborhood.

Koslowitz said she has heard about the issue for “a very long time” but “the problem is the city’s not equipped to handle it.”

Holden wrote a letter in mid-July to commanding officers of several precincts about the vehicles.

He noted that a traffic rule states “street storage of boat trailers, mobile homes and mobile medical diagnostic vehicles [are] prohibited.” This statue added that [no] person should park any boat trailer [with or without a boat attached], mobile home or mobile medical diagnostic vehicle in any area, on any street, in excess of 24 hours.”

Holden said he sent the notice because cops he spoke to were unsure of regulations. The legislation would discourage vehicles from parking overnight because the vehicles can’t be in one area for more than 24 hours but they could keep moving up or move around the corner.

He said there has been more trash on 57th Avenue because of the vehicles. Holden added that there was a baby in one of them, and in another a man was using fans during the heat wave.

“He had to be baking in there,” Holden said.

Koslowitz said boots recently were put on all trucks parked along the Grand Central Parkway.

“If you ride there at night, you’ll see at least anywhere between 15 and 20 trucks parked from the beginning of the Grand Central when you first get on,” she said.

Koslowitz, who said the people in the trucks weren’t causing problems, said perhaps there has been an increase in the vehicles because it’s a safe neighborhood and could be a place “to doze off at night.”

“They have to be ticketed and periodically booted,” she said. “And sometimes they’ll have to be towed. Make it inconvenient for them to park there.”

Capt. Jonathan Cermeli, commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, said removing RVs and commercial vehicles from the Home Depot off Woodhaven Boulevard was a two-part process.

The police discreetly kept an eye on the trucks and when they didn’t move, the officers issued numerous summonses and violations.

And they worked with the Department of Transportation to get signage in those areas for no overnight or commercial parking.

“That actually displaced them,” he said.

Cermeli said once they receive violations “they get the message pretty quick.”

He said at first the police would try to speak to the people in the vehicles.

“A lot of these people, when you talk to them, they don’t care,” Cermeli said. “It was just in one ear and out the other.”

Welcome to the discussion.