Today’s news:

Obstacle course

I am writing this letter to voice my concern about a growing problem. Some time ago two car dealerships expanded into the heart of Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton.

At the intersection of Fourth and Fifth avenues at 94th Street, Life Quality BMW and Giuffre Mazda have opened adjacent to our ‘town square,’ Fort Hamilton Memorial Park. Since taking up occupancy these two entities have, in an effort to outdo each other, shown a complete disregard for the residents of our community.

Every day, walking down our tree-lined streets has become more and more difficult due to the cars parked, recklessly, on the sidewalks and crosswalks of this intersection. I have seen mothers with baby carriages pass into traffic to maneuver around the illegally-parked vehicles. I, myself, twisted an ankle on the curb avoiding a car parked across the walkway.

If I parked my car on the sidewalk in front of my home, I am sure it would be towed in no time. These businesses, however, seem to be able to cause hazardous inconvenience with impunity. It seems that the businesses in question have some power that we mere citizens do not have.

In its first winter of occupancy, Giuffre continually blocked the fire hydrant near their business with plowed snow and cars. After several complaints were filed, the hydrant was moved!

While car dealerships have always created problems with losing legal parking spaces, double parking and walkway obstruction, having it in such a sensitive and what used to be picturesque spot in our community is indeed saddening.

I speak for many taxpaying residents when I say it is time laws were enforced and the owners of these businesses begin showing some common respect for their neighbors.

Dennis J. DiMartino Bay Ridge

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