Chasidic Jews Battle it Out With New York City Buses for Parking Space in Williamsburg
Two Chasidic Jews are making life difficult for MTA bus drivers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by moving a city no-parking sign, cementing it into the sidewalk in front of a Williamsburg yeshiva — and crowding in an MTA bus stop.
“There was no way I could park at the bus stop,” bus driver Jamar Perry told the New York Post.
“Two Jewish guys were moving the pole. I saw them resetting it. They had fresh cement and made it look professionally done.”
The Post reports that the relocated sign stands about 30 feet from the bus stop. It prevents cars from parking in front of Yeshiva Bnos Ahavas Israel so the religious school’s yellow buses can park at the curb.
Perry says that those parked yellow buses also create problems: city buses can’t pull into the stop and instead must idle in the middle of the street.
“When you’re in the middle of the street, bicyclists and motorcycles fly through there,” he said. “You’re also unable to pick up a wheelchair at that stop because you can’t pull in. We’d have to nose in, and that’s against the law.”
“I informed the union about it. I made a few complaints,” Perry said. “Nobody’s done anything.”
Tommy McNally, a safety officer from the Transit Workers Union, says sign-swapping “is a common problem in the Chasidic community.”
“These guys are just constantly moving these signs,” he said.
A DOT spokesman said an agency inspector will look into the case.
“We haven’t received any customer complaints, but we do realize there’s a problem on that block,” MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said. “We have a supervisor assigned to the area to check into doing whatever’s possible to improve the situation.”
Bus drivers for the yeshiva on Franklin Avenue contend they’re not the ones to blame.
“We keep getting tickets,” said driver Yoel Felberbaum. “It doesn’t make sense. They should move the [city] bus stop.”
Yeshiva drivers say they have no choice but to park in the makeshift no-parking zone in front of the school, because if they don’t, students would have to walk in traffic.