The northwest Bronx is inundated with an illegal parking problem of titanic proportions.
Members of the Woodlawn Heights Community and Taxpayers Association have become increasingly concerned about the illegal parking of commercial tractor-trailer trucks, and other large trucks and trailers, along a stretch of Webster Avenue that is the gateway to their community.
The civic group is reaching out to the 47th Precinct to request increased summonsing of the illegally parked 18-wheelers on Webster Avenue adjacent to Woodlawn Cemetery and the Metro North rail tracks running north from Norwood to East 233rd Street.
Kathleen Corrigan, the association’s first vice president, said her group have noted as many as 55 parked and unoccupied 18-wheelers, tractor-trailer trucks, large trucks, buses and commercial vehicles stored for long periods of time along the street next to the landmarked cemetery.
There may even be people living in some of the recreational vehicles that are thrown into the mix, she said.
“There is no light at the end of the tunnel,” said Corrigan of the overnight truck parking.
She said that the arrival of the large 18-wheelers was followed by trucks that were carrying new autos.
Now, they are seeing tourist buses, cherry pickers and trailers just left on the street detached from any rig.
“Some of the vehicles are ancient and falling apart,” said Corrigan. “(Some) don’t have commercial plates.”
Corrigan said that members of her group spoke to a truck driver they saw park and leave his vehicle on Webster Avenue recently, and he said that he lived nearby and that it was easier just to pay the tickets than to find a lot to legally park.
Ciara Gannon, a WHTCA corresponding secretary, said that she believes it is a quality of life issue that reflects poorly on the major thoroughfare that leads to both Woodlawn and Norwood.
“I think it goes to the root of the problem that there is nowhere for these truckers to stop in New York City, and they need to go someplace safe where they can stop,” said Gannon.
The truckers appear to be leaving a lot of garbage behind and there also are concerns that the situation may attract prostitution, she said.
WHTCA also worries that the truck parking could overflow to the neighborhood’s nearby streets such as East 233rd Street, said Corrigan.
She is particularly concerned about Van Cortlandt Park East, which has residences on one side and park land on the other, she said.
She has noticed a few commercial vehicles park there, and is carefully watching the growing trend.
The association recently teamed up with Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz on a successful graffiti removal operation near the same stretch of Webster Avenue.
A Dinowitz spokesman said that the 47th Precinct has stepped up ticketing efforts in the area due to issues raised by the WHTCA.
“They told us that they were being much more attentive to the issue in terms of issuing violations,” said the spokesman.
Though, he said, in some cases it seems that the truckers accept the tickets as the cost of doing business.