New York City Officials Were a No-Show At Monday Night’s Massive Jackson Heights Town Hall (War on Cars Watch)

The Parks Department and Department of Transportation were AWOL at an overflow town hall meeting in Jackson Heights on Monday night, when dozens of residents demanded the city keep its promise to transform a single local street into a car-free plaza — a years-in-the-making plan that’s now in jeopardy so a politically connected car dealer can use a portion of the street near deadly Northern Boulevard.

For years, the two agencies have been planning to ban cars entirely from 78th Street between 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard — but they now are apparently abandoning that play-street plan to allow Koeppel Mazda to pull cars into a side entrance that would otherwise have been off-limits. The dealership is owned by Howard Koeppel, who has long been cozy with politicians.