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Parking nuisance is ‘good for the neighbourhood’ | The Riverdale Press

Parking nuisance is 'good for the neighbourhood' |  The Riverdale Press

By STACY DRIKS

Manhattan College Parkway resident Kevin Mullins offers pro bono bike repairs. While he has regular customers, his “business” may also be of concern to some as it is literally in a parking lot in front of his girlfriend’s house.

He donated bicycles for adults and children for his girlfriend’s apartment building at 4652 Manhattan College Parkway for a few years. He puts 10 bicycles in the street next to a handwritten A-frame – signs often found outside cafes.

“Let me do this for free and someone wants to buy a bike. They just make a reasonable donation and you can get any bike you want,” Mullins said.

However, his neighbor in the adjacent building does not see it that way. She states that he sells them for cash. Jessie Adair, a customer service representative for the Department of Transportation, once saw a “for sale” sign last year.

Mullins recently put down donated bicycles as the New York Police Department visited his bicycle parking facility near Manhattan College a few weeks ago. They warned him that he would be subpoenaed for selling bicycles because he does not have a valid license.

“I just want to do good for my community,” he said, “It also keeps me busy all day.”

Some bikes are in good condition, and if they’re low quality, he’ll buy parts and fix them.

Where can he find the donated products?

“Me,” said Nathaniel Commodore, a resident of the same block of flats. Still, Mullins claimed that more local residents are donating bicycles to him.

Commodore said to The Riverdale Press that he had bought a brand new bicycle and was not comfortable riding it. Instead of returning it, he gave it to Mullins.

Mullins kept telling The press he tries to earn a living while he is disabled.

Adair is concerned about Mullins’ affairs over the impact on the neighbourhood.

“I said (to the 50th district) it’s a quality of life issue,” Adair said. “If the law is broken, only one person has to complain,” Adair said.

The 50th Precinct asked Adair why she is the only one to complain about Mullins.

Residents in Mullin’s building said: The press that he is not bothering anyone.

DOT has not confirmed the legal status of bicycles on the street with The Press.

Under New York City law, agencies are legally prohibited from touching Mullins property. But the DOT considers it illegal under its traffic and regulatory rules to Block a street or save a parking space with property other than a vehicle.

Adair alleges that Mullins’ company is violating multiple city laws.

In the evening, Mullins puts his bicycles at his girlfriend’s property to prevent theft, as reports have been received of parked cars being robbed of parts nearby.

During the alternate side of the street parked Thursday for regular street cleaning, Mullins bikes will be left on the street. He said he cleans the five-foot bike rack weekly. Adair claims that Mullins regularly takes up to two parking spaces.

“Our representatives visited the site today (Thurs) during cleaning operations. At the time, there were no obstacles to our broom access,” said Belinda Mager, director of communications for the New York City Department of Sanitation.

Skinny kept telling The press that a head of the sanitation department spoke to a person they believed to be the Mullins and told him to keep the bikes off the street while parking on the other side of the street. And he agreed.

“DSNY will continue to monitor the site to ensure that street cleaning rules are followed,” Mager said.

The fine for violating these rules is $65. However, this is for vehicles with valid license plates and license plate stickers. DSNY enforcement cannot fine a bike without information.

But the police can sue cyclists if they ride on the sidewalk. The press received no feedback from the police or DOT about summoning cyclists for bicycles “parked” on the street.

Mullins requested a bike rack from the CityRack program. Those racks are managed by the DOT and are intended for short-term use.

People may be familiar with these silver round posts that can be found on public streets.

CityRack “does not recommend parking bicycles on mailboxes, parking meters, trees and other sidewalks,” DOT said on its cycling website.

Adair said the DOT should not cut the chain off a bicycle, no matter where it is, because it is private property.

“It’s not fair to drivers,” Adair said. “When they look for a parking space, they think they see a place and then they swear if it’s bikes! You can’t put anything on the streets of New York, they belong to every citizen to park.”

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