Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Mayor Promises to Crack Down on City Employees Who Abuse Parking Placards

Mayor Promises to Crack Down on City Employees Who Abuse Parking Placards

The city's streets have always been plagued by placard problems - something evident outside almost every police precinct, courthouse or government building.

"I think the NYPD has, over the last few decades, done an extraordinary job addressing internal challenges", de Blasio said in response to one reporter's skepticism. The city will also increase towing capacity and create new fines and penalties for both placard fraud and placard abuse.

Public employees can already lose their placards or have parking privileged revoked entirely, and they face suspension or termination for permit misuse in addition to the new fine and parking violations.

"Before anyone thinks it's a clever idea to misuse our placards, my advice is you better get to know where our impound lots are - because you're going to end up visiting them", de Blasio said outside a Bronx school.

Sixteen dedicated enforcement personnel in the Transportation Bureau will identify counterfeit placards and misuse at hotspots in all five boroughs, though exactly how many will be assigned to Staten Island hasn't been determined.

"I think there's a kind of problem in public service we've seen for a long time that people think they're doing each other a favor, but that's not the way it's supposed to be", de Blasio said.

After issuing thousands of new placards to city workers, Mayor de Blasio now says he's ready to spend millions to hire an army of traffic agents to crack down on their abuse.

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Earlier this month the city issued some 50,000 new parking placards for every teacher or school employee with the Department of Education, or DOE, working at schools with parking spaces.

Each existing Borough Investigation Unit will also be tasked with enforcing placard abuse in local boroughs around precincts, courthouses and government buildings.

De Blasio also committed to "laying groundwork" for technology-based fixes - namely, license-plate readers that can easily scan vehicles on a block to check for abuse.

Today he defended the move, arguing that it was a necessary step the city had to take as a result of litigation with its principals' union.

As part of the crackdown, the DOE will create a new office that will issue placards and audit schools for their proper accounting. Those with state and federal placards will also be targeted.

Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that his decision to award new permits inspired him to "revamp the whole approach" to enforcement.

"What's clear, regardless of the number of permits, is they have to be used the right way, and we have plenty of ability to crack down when they're not used the right way", de Blasio said. "For many years as a driver, I experienced the challenge of finding a parking spot in my own neighborhood", he told reporters. "It's painful. Especially since it was directed at children", said Mayor Bill de Blasio less than 24 hours following the deadly bomb blast in Manchester that has thus far claimed 22 lives and injured 120. "There's tremendous frustration when people feel that a parking space should be for the general public, and [it] isn't".

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