August 6, 2018
New York City government officials created a parking nightmare for residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood, Red Hook, but more specifically for people residing in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)—New York’s public housing.
City officials poorly coordinated much-needed roadwork to take place on the same day as the filming of the television series The Last O.G. Both the filming and roadwork have left residents and those who commute to the neighborhood scrambling for the few parking spaces available.
ESENDOM caught up with some residents and commuters. Red Hook resident Rosa stated, “My husband parked his car far because he couldn’t find parking near where we live.”
A commuter by the name of Johnny noted, “Parking these past few years has been atrocious, especially with that auto repair shop and them stupid bikes.” He is referring to the auto repair shop that opened about two years ago and the Citi Bike kiosk in front of the Red Hook Post Office.
Historically, city officials have been unkind to Red Hook residents and irresponsibly have opened the door for businesses owners to disrupt the community via the negative ripple effects that have been set.
For instance, residents had access to more parking spaces prior to the arrival of the Citi Bike kiosk and auto repair shop. Citi Bike’s kiosk on Clinton Street replaced convenient parking space that is no longer available for parked vehicles. The City Bike program has created the same issue for other neighborhoods throughout New York, specifically because those bikes take up a lot of public space in an already overcrowded city. To this extent, urban planning and elected officials have failed their constituents.
By the same token, the auto repair shop on Centre Street has become detrimental to the community in that the business parks vehicles that occupy parking space once exclusive to residents and commuters—not just one business. Even worse, the location has also become a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles.
Fortunately for residents, today’s debacle is supposed to be a one-day issue. However, residents should be forewarned that in the same manner that city officials scheduled roadwork and television filming to take place on the same day, government officials could also do the same in the future but for a more prolonged period of time.
Today’s parking issue may be indicative of miscommunication, lack of communication, or power struggles within governmental agencies such as the New York City Mayor’s Office, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Department of Transportation. The chaos in the public subway system run by the MTA is a reflection of the chaos within the city.
ESENDOM attempted to interview crew members, yet they refused to speak on camera. It is understandable considering that film crew members are often among the lowest paid wage workers.
Residents hope the pandemonium ends Monday so that they can go about their everyday lives without the need to worry about where to park next.
Background on Red Hook
Red Hook is a dynamic neighborhood comprising mostly of Black and Latinx people. In recent years, however, the neighborhood has undergone significant transformations that mostly appeal to well-to-do residents. Between 2000 and 2014, the white population in Red Hook grew approximately 320 percent. New businesses have emerged such as the IKEA store that opened in 2008. According to several sources, gentrification has hurt Red Hook’s non-profit sector. Due to the neighborhood’s overall booming income, non-profits such as the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) lost the eligibility to apply for block grants reserved for low-income communities, as noted by DNA Info.