Video: Livery Cab Chaos On Sheepshead Bay Road

When we told you last week about the efforts of local politicians to push livery cabs off of Sheepshead Bay Road,  a number of commenters said the cabs were an asset and helped them get where they’re going.

Regardless, they’re still a dangerous menace on Sheepshead Bay Road, and this video shows why.

Responding to an emergency situation near the train station, an NYPD vehicle pulled alongside the cabs and officers made haste to the scene. They left their car in the middle of the street since car service vehicles, illegally stationed in No Standing and No Parking areas, made it impossible to pull up to the curb.

Their car was left between the livery cabs and the bus stop, and DOT construction crews on the corner of East 15th Street added to the congestion. A second unmarked police car was in front of the station – also in the middle of the street as livery cars were in the No Standing zone.

As you’ll see in the video above, commuters began driving into oncoming traffic to get around the police car. As some waited for traffic to clear, impatient drivers behind them tried to jockey ahead, putting two lanes of cars moving against traffic towards East 15th Street. When a bus came in, the impatient drivers were blocked in by even more thoughtless people, and the bus, crowded with students on their way home, couldn’t get off Sheepshead Bay Road. Eventually cars needed to go in reverse up Sheepshead Bay Road.

When a police car finally came and chased the cabs away before continuing down Sheepshead Bay Road, it took approximately 20 seconds for the livery cabs to begin lining up again. The street was blocked once more.

We spoke to one livery driver, who admitted that standing there was illegal. He said that the cars shouldn’t do it, but that “people, they need to get from one place to another.”

He also said police officers had previously told him they could stay in the No Parking area, but admitted he and others frequently used the No Standing zone because it’s a better spot for getting fares.

DOT needs to end this now, and make the entire strip around the station a No Standing zone for all except delivery trucks. Then the NYPD and TLC needs to enforce it. If a taxi zone is necessary, there are spots on the surrounding streets that can accommodate it without creating a safety issue.