NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a controversial plan to issue parking permits to school staff members.
Now, he says City Hall plans to crack down and end rampant abuse.
“Parking is one of the biggest quality of life concerns of all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said.
As CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reports, the man who just gave anyone who works in a city school a placard bonanza – 50,000 of them – announced that just as he giveth he can taketh away.
Abusers will not only be fined or towed, but subject to “permanent ineligibility.”
“We’re concerned also about the placards that have been provided to police and other first responders,” de Blasio said.
Kramer: “Are you really going to tow cops and teachers’ cars, and really, really going to do it?”
De Blasio: “Sure.”
De Blasio: “Because it’s against the rules. It’s as simple as that… It’s not fair to residents of neighborhoods.”
As part of the crackdown, the mayor is hiring 100 additional traffic agents to go after placard abusers, adding more tow trucks and creating a new $100 parking fine for placard misuse.
The chief enforcer will be the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, who is also creating a new 16-member task force of cops.
“(To) identify counterfeit placards and also misuse by city employees,” he said. “We will formulate hot spots and target those areas for enforcement.”
Officials don’t yet know the extent of the abuse. Including teachers, the city has issued a total of nearly 150,000 placards. Those with state and federal placards will also be targeted.
It will be like shooting fish in a barrel for the agents, Kramer reported.
Even before the teachers got their windfall, CBS2 found a car with a Department of Education permit that expired three years ago parked in a zone reserved for the health department. It also found cars using the DOE permits to park in a no standing zone, and others parked on a school sidewalk.
“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 warned.
The mayor told Kramer he used a parking placard when he was both a city councilman and public advocate.
When asked whether he ever cheated, he said he never got a ticket for misuse of a placard, but he did admit to getting tickets for other things, like expired meters.