The NYPD traffic enforcement division is once again targeting the street for various infractions including double parking and running a stop sign at the corner of Layton and Fairfax avenues.
“I don’t know if this is [in response to] someone in the neighborhood complaining, or for some other reason,” said Steve Zeppieri of Magic Touch French Cleaners.
“The officers are coming between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the morning and writing down people’s license plates. They then give people tickets,” he continued. “I am not saying that double parking is not wrong, but they don’t need to write this many tickets.”
Zeppieri said the ticketing is not limited to weekday mornings, as it was in the past, but now comes to encompass Saturdays and Sundays, busy days for shopping on the modest commercial strip.
“We try to watch out for each other, but they are too quick,” Zeppieri continued. “Even if you run out to your car to move it, they still zap you with a ticket.”
The handheld devices traffic enforcement agents use scan a bar code on NYS registrations in car windshields, producing a ticket in a matter of seconds.
Many who work in the business and professional offices nearby think the area does not present a problem spot for traffic and parking issues.
“Layton Avenue is a really wide street, and we haven’t really had double-parking impeding traffic,” Joseph Perry, of Community Chiropractic of Country Club, said.
Regardless, traffic enforcement agents refuse to overlook the early morning infractions and have also set up shop in the area to catch other violations.
“We have seen a patrol car grabbing drivers running a stop sign near the overpass,” Perry added.
The reason may be that the street is on an upgrade, where cars speed up and are reluctant to stop.
The stop sign on the bridge over the Throgs Neck Expressway, where Layton Avenue crosses over to Otis Avenue, is a bone of contention for many area motorists also.
Several people who work or live on Layton Avenue said there is often a patrol car parked near the overpasses catching motorists running the stop sign as they head from Country Club to Throggs Neck.
According to reports, the police sometimes write over 10 tickets a day at the spot for running the one stop sign.
Zeppieri said he believes the increased ticketing will end up having a negative effect on businesses on the strip. “It will force many of our customers to go elsewhere for morning coffee and newspapers,” he said, “and that will have a domino effect on the other businesses in the area.”
A spokesperson from the NYPD did not respond to a request for information about the recent traffic enforcement increase.
©2008 Community News Group