NEW YORK — Steven Newman says he gets three to four parking tickets a week.
How is that possible? Steven works just across the street from Silver Star Motors, a Mercedes dealership on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.
The dealership, he says, illegally parks the cars it’s selling on the blocks surrounding Silver Star and getting away with it.
“They’re not getting tickets when they’re illegally parked," said Newman. "Not to mention that they don’t have any plates on them so they shouldn’t be on the street anyway.”
On one block, the Mercedes were parked all along the sidewalks, in addition to illegally taking up most of the free street parking.
Newaman has to park his car a block away in a two-hour meter zone.
“I have to come down every two hours and put more money in the meter. I’ll be 5 or 6 minutes late and they’re right there to give me a ticket.” He showed us a stack of tickets to prove it. “They’re mostly for muni meter expired. The tickets are $35 each, so averaging 3 or 4 a week , it’s $90 to $120 a week, on top of paying the muni meter."
That’s why Steven gets angry when he sees traffic enforcement agents pass right by the Mercedes illegally parked in the two-hour muni meter zone.
He stopped one agent and recorded the conversation.
“How come I got a ticket back there. But the two Mercedes aren’t getting tickets” he asked.
The agent said “They have no plates. They have vin numbers but we only write for plates.”
Steven pointed out two Mercedes blocking a fire hydrant and asked “They’re allowed to park illegally? That’s a $115 ticket.”
Once again the agent said “If they have plates we issue them a ticket.”
The agent admitted that the illegally parked Mercedes taking up so many spaces is a problem. “The city has to do something. They have to remove the cars or tow them.”
It was a frustrating conversation for Steven.
“It’s taxpayers money paying his salary and he’d not doing the job he’s supposed to be doing by avoiding giving tickets.”
When I asked Steven “Do you think there must be some kind of deal between the city and the Mercedes dealer,” he answered "Oh yeah. There has to be. There’s no other explanation.”
PIX11 also witnessed a different traffic agent passing by an illegally parked Mercedes with no license plates.
When I asked her why she didn’t give ticket the car, she turned around and walked away. “Are you ordered not to give them a ticket?” I asked. She had no answer.
I went into Silver Star Motors and spoke with Rob, the manager.
I told him we’d been getting complaints about the Mercedes being illegally parked on the streets, the meters, the sidewalks and by the hydrants.
When he saw we were recording the conversation on camera, he told us to leave and said he had no comment.
We also contacted the New York City Police Department and were told “The Commanding Officer is aware of the condition and is working with the community to address it.”
But we’ve been told the Mercedes dealer has been getting away with the illegal parking for a long time. What a Shame!