A bicycle and pedestrian greenway that connects protected bike paths on the waterfront to Queens Plaza and Queens Boulevard has become a parking lot, with private and government-placarded cars lining its southern curb for months.
The Parks Department knows about the vehicles parked in the path and “has been ticketing when they are observed,” according agency spokesperson Meghan Lalor. But that hasn’t deterred people from leaving their cars on the greenway.
The greenway, which is technically part of Queensbridge Park, runs for two blocks from Vernon Boulevard at the East River waterfront to 21st Street, between NYCHA’s Queensbridge Houses and the Queensboro Bridge.
On Vernon Boulevard, motorists continue to park illegally under the bridge, blocking pedestrian access to the sidewalk on the west side of the street. Streetsblog reported last October that Con Edison employees were parking their personal cars there while making repairs to the bridge.
I visited the location twice this week and found the greenway filled with parked cars. Some of them had Parks Department placards. In others, drivers displayed orange safety vests (at least one had the word “contractor” on it). Some of the cars had out of state plates.
“[It’s] a new phenomenon. Cars were not parking there until a few months ago,” said Ray Normandeau, a longtime Queensbridge resident. “We’ve seen people park a car, then walk to the subway.”