The Department of Transportation (DOT) struck a chord with Stryker Court residents when they removed parking from one side of the Gravesend street.
It happened three weeks ago in the dead of the night. Both sides of Stryker Court were alternate side parking for roughly 75 years, according to resident Ronald Sartini, but now one side is “no standing anytime.”
“This change to ‘no standing anytime’ on one side has developed this new traffic pattern,” said Sartini in an emotional speech made to Community Board 15 last week. “Stryker Court has now become a speedway for trucks and cars making it a thoroughfare. This is a dangerous result for everyone, especially children playing and elderly people crossing the street.”
Sartini, with the support of 497 residents who signed a petition to get the parking back, reached out to the DOT to get answers, and this was their response:
“Thank you for your message of concern in the change of parking regulations on Stryker court. The DOT Brooklyn Borough Engineers Office evaluated conditions on Stryker Court in response to a request of a member of the community and determined that the street is too narrow for parking on both sides. As a result, the parking regulations were changed to remove parking on one side of the street in the interest of safety.”
According to Community Board 15 chairperson Theresa Scavo, emergency vehicles were having trouble navigating through the narrow street, so the DOT conducted a study and decided parking had to be eliminated on one side to accommodate larger vehicles.
“How did Stryker Court alone become too narrow overnight in a city with hundreds of street much narrower and still have parking on both sides,” asked Sartini at the CB15 meeting. “99 percent of the people who live on Stryker Court have signed this petition and are protesting this no standing anytime rule.”
Sartini, and the other Stryker Court residents who advocate for bringing the parking back, believe that the complaints were made simply because someone’s driveway was blocked by a car parked on the street, which, according to Sartini, calls for an increase in law enforcement, not a drastic change to the street by the DOT.
Sartini also claimed that collusion between government agencies may have occurred to enact such a swift change to the street.
“We believe the complaint was made by a member of the community who may be an employee of a New York State government agency and used their position to possibly influence an employee of the DOT to change the parking in their favor,” said Sartini. “If so, this is a crime.”
The DOT would not disclose who the complainant was, nor the nature of the complaint. They did, however, provide this comment:
“DOT enacted the changes along Striker Court in response to community concerns. The changes were made after a thorough review and analysis of the stretch. Five parking spots in total were removed. Parking still remains on the opposite side of the street. If residents have concerns, they should reach out to their local community board or 311.”
At the CB15 meeting, Sartini’s moving speech incited applause from the crowd as well as outbursts such as, “we want it back!”
“Stryker Court homeowners and everyone that parks there votes and pays taxes and have nowhere to park,” Sartini said to close the speech.