Two local politicians are teaming up to battle livery cab operators on Sheepshead Bay Road, a long-time menace of the congested shopping strip.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Councilman Michael Nelson blasted the cabbies in a letter to the Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn Commissioner, Joseph Palmieri, saying the pesky motorists are creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians. The letter, sent in May and recently obtained by Sheepshead Bites, took issue with livery cars illegally jockeying for fares at the Sheepshead Bay subway station, and requested the agency take measures to discourage practices that put residents at risk.
“This is both a safety and quality of life issue,” Cymbrowitz told Sheepshead Bites. “We cannot allow livery car drivers pursuing profit to put the public’s safety at risk. Their jockeying for illegal street pickups must be curtailed.”
In their letter, Cymbrowitz and Nelson noted that the cars are lining up near the station in “No Parking” zones, and even backing up during rush hours into the “No Standing” area directly in front of the subway’s entrance. The fares they seek are illegal, as car service vehicles may not make street side pickups like yellow cabs.
The situation not only creates additional traffic – and the release of more pollutants – but it also forces students and commuters rushing between buses and the train to dash between cars.
To help solve the problem, they’ve requested the DOT change the entire southern side of Sheepshead Bay Road between East 14th Street and East 16th Street to a “No Standing Anytime – Except Deliveries” area. They will then ask for increased enforcement from the NYPD and the TLC, which periodically send the cabs scurrying for safety when they come with ticket pads in hand.
According to Cymbrowitz’s office, the DOT is embracing the idea and promised to install signs later this month.
Below is the full letter to Commissioner Palmieri: