To describe the Foster Avenue frontage road between East 83rd and East 87th streets as unremarkable is generous. On one side, imposing brick warehouse walls span entire blocks. On the other, a steady flow of traffic zips by on northern Canarsie’s main east-west thoroughfare. Litter and fallen leaves mingle in untended dunes, spilling over from the gutter onto the sidewalk. At night, streetlights cast a harsh glare that somehow makes everything feel even dimmer.
But this drab, fifth-of-a-mile stretch of roadway is the flashpoint in a rift between the Brooklyn Terminal Market, a neighborhood stalwart, and a group of truck drivers who say they’re getting short shrift from a newly accelerated policy of ticketing and towing tractor-trailers. While the roadside is designated a no-standing zone during overnight hours, it has long been used as a de facto parking lot for big rigs. But now, at the market’s request, it’s the target of an aggressive police crackdown on illegal commercial parking.