"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

December 04, 2007

Parking Your Car In Pulaski Park Is Not A Good Idea.

Walking down Main St. at 6.45 pm on Sunday evening, I spotted a vehicle parked in Pulaski Park. From afar, it appeared to be a police car. I crossed the street to get a closer look, curious what the police might be doing in Pulaski Park. Moving closer and still unsure what kind of car was parked in Pulaski Park, I inched even closer, and it became clear that this was not a police car. No, this was a black Volkswagen, and immediately I imagined that someone may have had too many drinks and decided to park their car in Pulaski Park. I peered in the car to see who, if anyone, was in it. No one was. Now standing upon the vehicle, I could see quite a few more cars parked nearby, behind the Academy of Music. Standing there, yet another car entered the park from the Old South St. side and parked on park land behind the Academy, joining the others already there, with at least one vehicle parked on the wide walkway that bends through the park. It seemed clear that these people were indeed intoxicated, though perhaps with entitlement, as opposed to alcohol.

Trying the doors of the Academy until one opened, I entered through the stage door, newly identifed with the logo of WGBY. There were quite a few people on stage, either setting up or dismantling a set.

"Hi! Hey, do any of these cars parked outside in the park belong to any of you?"

"Maybe, which ones?"

"The black Volkswagen Jetta."

"Yes, that's mine, but it's not a Jetta," she said, and walked away.

"I'm not sure that parking your car in the park was the best idea."

From the back of the stage, another replied, "The truck on the sidewalk, that's mine, I'm gonna move it shortly."

"Ok, cool, thanks. I think it might be best if all of the cars parked in the park were moved to spots on the street."

And I left. When I walked by a half hour later, the cars were still there. I spoke with Carl Erikson, manager at the Academy, this morning on the phone and he agreed that this was not appropriate, informing me that he would do what he could to make sure everyone using the Academy of Music is aware that parking their vehicles in Pulaski Park is not allowed.

UPDATE:: After speaking with a member of the BPW about this, as the DPW hold authority over use of the park, I was directed to call the police if it is observed that people are parking their cars in Pulaski Park. The police will enforce the rules for the DPW, in this case, having the cars towed.

It was also brought to my attention that the Academy of Music is aware of this problem and agrees it has gotten out of hand, and will be instituting a policy that restricts the numbers of cars that can be parked behind the Academy. The Academy building sits directly adjacent to the park, and in theory, does have land behind it that belongs to them. According to an official in the Planning Dep't, where that land starts and ends is cloudy, but nonetheless, parking directly behind the Academy, near the loading dock and street, seems quite reasonable. It is a practice that is common, and one that never bothered me personally, as the area is removed from the park proper and additionally, is hidden from the park by a section of the Academy's building that juts out past that area.

Parking you car in the park, on the walkway and grass, because that area is full, is a different story, and a practice that hopefully will be nipped in the bud.

LABELS: downtown, public space, citizen journalism,