Workers Say Amazon Causing Increase in Delivery Trucks
Parking spaces are scarce in many Southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods, but Dyker Heights has a problem that is quickly escalating to new levels of insanity, according to local officials.
The Dyker Heights Post Office is at the center of a fierce tug-of-war over on-street parking spaces and Community Board 10 officials, along with U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, are working overtime hoping to delivery a solution to the messy situation.
The controversy centers on the fact that the Dyker Heights Post Office, located at 8320 13th Ave., has no garage. As a result, postal workers park United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery trucks on the street.
That doesn’t sit well with local homeowners, who wonder why the trucks are hogging precious parking spaces on their residential blocks.
Adding to the bad feeling is the fact that the USPS has had to increase the number of trucks it uses at the Dyker Heights location because of a sharp increase in deliveries due to the behemoth Amazon, according to one postal worker.
Everyone, it seems, loves to order from Amazon and get their merchandise delivered right to their doorstep.
“We went from three trucks to seven trucks,” one postal worker told this newspaper.
The worker estimated that employees working out of the Dyker Heights Post Office handle 3,000 parcels a day, much of it due to Amazon.
“Our post office loads and unloads our trucks on the street. We’re blocking driveways with our trucks. We’re not doing it on purpose. But what else are we going to do?” the worker added.
At first, postal workers were sympathetic to residents’ complaints over parking spaces. “It’s a difficult situation, we recognize that,” the worker said.
But then a rash of vandalism incidents hit the USPS employees.
In recent weeks, five postal workers have walked out of the post office at the end of their shifts only to discover that vandals have “keyed” their cars, leaving scratch marks on the vehicles, according to the workers.
One worker found more serious damage. Someone had poured paint on his car.
“We can’t prove who’s doing it. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we all happen to work that the post office. I think they watch us park our cars, so they know which ones are ours,” a second postal worker told this newspaper.
The postal employees asked that their names not be printed.
As a temporary solution, USPS officials have asked the postal workers to park their cars on 13th Avenue, a commercial thoroughfare, instead of parking on residential side streets.
But a request made in 2017 by CB 10 and the postal workers to prohibit parking on 13th Avenue in front of the post office to clear the way for the postal workers to park there during business hours was turned down by the city’s Department of Transportation.
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of CB 10, which covers Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, said that unless an arrest is made, there really isn’t any way to prove that vandals are deliberately targeting postal workers’ cars.
Beckmann said that while she feels some sympathy for the postal workers, “The bottom line is that you’re not supposed to park commercial vehicles overnight on residential streets.”
She was referring to a New York City regulation prohibiting commercial vehicles from being parked on residential streets between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The community board has received numerous complaints from residents about the parking situation, Beckmann said. “Parking is among the top complaints we receive. It’s very high on the list of concerns of the residents and not just in Dyker Heights,” she told this newspaper.
Meanwhile, the community board is working with Donovan’s office and the Dyker Heights Civic Association to try to come up with a long-term solution.
A postal worker suggested the Dyker Beach Golf Course parking lot, on 86th Street and 11th Avenue, as a possible site to place the trucks overnight, if a deal could be worked out with American Golf Corp., the firm contracted by the city’s Parks Department to operate the golf course.
Xavier C. Hernandez, a USPS spokesperson in New York, said the postal service is eager for a solution.
“The goal of the Postal Service is to provide efficient, economical service for our customers and to do so as good neighbors. This requires a fleet of postal vehicles to be present in this and every American community, in order to advance the mail. We make every effort to abide by local laws and are not exempt from New York City’s parking rules,” he told this newspaper via email.
On the suspected vandalism on workers’ cars, Hernandez, said the workers should report the incidents to police. “Reports of criminal activity should be shared with local law enforcement for appropriate action,” he said.