Police say parked cars created hazard on 9D
By Michael Turton
A Yonkers family had a costly lesson on July 15 in the lack of parking along the corridor between Little Stony Point and Breakneck Ridge.
John and Sarah Coffey and their two daughters went for a two-hour afternoon hike after parking on the shoulder of Route 9D just north of the Little Stony Point Park. When they returned, their car was gone.
“At first we wondered if it had been stolen,” Sarah Coffey said.
In fact, the car had been ticketed by a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy and towed by Tow Time to its lot on Route 9 near Cold Spring. John Coffey took a taxi to the lot and paid $380 for the return of his Ford Edge, but only after Tow Time owner Bob Antenucci drove him to an ATM to get cash.
Antenucci said the policy is cash-only for reclaiming impounded vehicles because owners are usually upset and often stop payment as soon as they leave the lot if they’ve used a check or credit card. Antenucci also gave Coffey a copy of the parking ticket.
Residents have long complained about unsafe conditions, inadequate parking and a lack of enforcement along Route 9D between Cold Spring and Beacon.
“I can see that it’s not the safest place to park, but if parking is not allowed there should be signs,” said Sarah Coffey. “A ticket for a violation would be fair, but not the towing.”
Coffey also complained that numerous other cars were parked in the same area that afternoon but not ticketed or towed.
The issue was not a lack of signage, according to Antenucci, who said that when he arrived, the Coffey car was parked over the white line that marks the edge of the lane. He also said at least one other vehicle parked in the area was ticketed and towed that afternoon by another towing service.
Capt. William McNamara of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Antenucci’s account, writing in an email that, according to the ticket, “one side of the vehicle [was] about 2 to 3 feet over the white fog line, thus partially blocking the driving portion of the highway.”
McNamara confirmed that a second vehicle was ticketed and towed around the same time.
“I really don’t feel this is a fair way to treat people who come and spend money at local businesses,” Sarah Coffey said. “We have come here the last three weekends and we usually spend $150 on lunch plus shopping.”
Asked if they will fight the ticket, Coffey said, “I’d like to but my husband doesn’t want to,” adding that they will not likely visit again.