Upper West Side Parking Dispute Breaks Out Between Muslim Cab Drivers, Residents

Drivers: We Need To Park To Go Pray; NYPD Under Pressure To Enforce Laws

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A neighborhood feud has developed between cab drivers and residents on the Upper West Side. Cabbies say they are being targeted for their religion — and they’re fighting back.

Hundreds of worshipers come for the mid-day services once a week to an Islamic center on West 72nd Street. Many of them are cab drivers and their cars line the streets.

“We need a place so we can park and pray,” one driver said.

However, people who live in the area are complaining that Fridays have become a nightmare.

“It’s a problem,” resident Richard Sheely said.

“Well, ‘cause they triple park!” added another resident.

And it’s sparking tension in the neighborhood.

Exclusive video obtained by CBS 2 shows the aftermath of a tense showdown between police and cabbies.

Cabbie Mohamed Ali said he was arrested when he confronted police after being ticketed.

“He said … he screamed at us because you are double parking guys,” Ali said.

Most of the cabbies park in a “No Standing” zone. It’s illegal but they say police have been cutting them a break for prayer services — until recently.

“It’s only like half an hour. We’re not blocking for all the day like for a street fair!” driver Berhoumi el Nour said.

But after a number of complaints to 311 police have begun enforcing the rules to an extent.

On Friday, Brown found several traffic cops patrolling to prevent cabbies from double parking, but allowing them to leave their cars in “No Standing” zones.

It’s special treatment that’s leaving some residents fuming.

“No, I don’t think there should be special privileges for people. If that’s the law that’s the law,” resident Marta Black said.

“I don’t think a Muslim would go to a Christian or Jewish neighborhood to disrupt them. That’s why we, the Muslims, we are so angry about this,” cabbie Abdul Rahim said.

Police said they’ve issued 30 tickets in the last two weeks, mostly for double parking. And they are warning cab drivers that they will be ticketed for breaking the law.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments

One Comment

  1. John says:

    The law is for alll people without exceptions.

  2. Yuri Kasanov says:

    deport them all

    1. marc says:

      if i park ilegally in front of a church or temple i get a tkt in 2 minutes.. what happened?

  3. george Scott says:

    DOES THE WORLD STOP TURNING BECAUSE MUSLIMS HAVE TO PRAY 1/2 HOUR 4 TIMES A DAY, OR SHOULD THEY PURCHASE PROPERTY TO PERMIT PARKING FOR THEIR FOLLOWERS ?? IF THEY VIOLATE THE PARKING RULES THEY SHOULD BE TICKETED. AFTER THREE TICKETS THEY SHOULD BE TOWED – LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

  4. yo I'm maaad stupid! says:

    another point for the atheists!

  5. man from old ways says:

    you park in new york city then you take the subway to pray

  6. BigAppleGuy says:

    Why is it all fundamentalists are nuckin futs? Oh yeah because that’s the very definition of fundamentalist…

  7. Dan Perman says:

    why is it that Muslims always want special treatment? For their cabbies and for their terrorists. ENOUGH!

  8. Driver like them says:

    The law is the law and it must be enforced. The cops were stupid to allow them to park in no standing zones and double/triple parking.

  9. BigAppleGuy says:

    Any car that is illegally parked should be ticketed and/or towed. The law doesn’t say their are exception for what the reason is you are double parked or how long. It’s rude to the residents of the neighborhood as double parking often causes minor traffic jams and excessive noise via cars honking. It’s rude to the people that get double-parked into their spots.
    Park legally or put your car in a garage. It has nothing to do with religious persecution. Everyone knows parking issues in nyc escalate quickly. Cabbies, being ‘professional’ drivers, should especially know better and be held to the strictest of standards (then again so should the cops personal vehicles that you find double-parked and parked on hydrants any where near a precinct,,,ever hear of public transportation people?).

    1. stewonder says:

      I can’t agree with you more on all the points you made

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

BUY TICKETS NOW
Get Our Morning Briefs

Listen Live