De Blasio renews vow to ‘crack down’ on placard abuse

As civil servants continue to illegally park personal vehicles on city streets unticketed, Mayor Bill de Blasio renewed a vow Thursday that he made last May: “We’re going to crack down.”

Safe-streets and good-government activists have long objected to how the vehicles park daily and dangerously around the five boroughs — on sidewalks, in front of hydrants, at curbs, in restricted zones — a practice especially acute near courts, firehouses and police precincts.

“The message is very clear: we’re coming for anyone who violates the rules relating to a placard, or anyone who has an inappropriate placard,” he said Thursday at an unrelated news conference.

Across the city, department-themed hats, vests, union calendars, union-issued placards — which confer no legal status — and handwritten notes are placed on dashboards and amount to impunity to traffic agents and cops, who refuse to ticket brethren.

De Blasio said Thursday that the NYPD’s top transportation cop, Thomas M. Chan, would soon be providing an update of the department’s enforcement efforts.

After de Blasio spoke, his spokesman Austin Finan reissued a statement he gave amNewYork for a story published earlier in the week: that there were 41,931 placard summonses issued last year, compared to 28,269 in 2016.

Finan did not say how many of these summonses are ultimately sustained, dismissed, reduced or paid, or how the rate compares to past years and to other parking violations.

Last year, de Blasio issued more than 50,000 new parking placards in a deal with the teachers labor union, but warned that anyone who commits abuse would be punished, including any city worker who refuses to ticket a fellow civil servant.

“If someone does that, they are risking a sanction on themselves. They’re risking disciplinary action if they ignore an obvious infraction,” he said Thursday.

De Blasio’s staff would not say how many placards have been confiscated over misuse or provide the number of municipal personnel disciplined.


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