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Street Films: Gridlock Sam on Govt Employee Parking Abuse

govt_parking.jpg
Gridlock Sam on Government Employee Parking Abuse
A Clarence Eckerson Street Film
Running time: 5:06, 13.80 MB, QuickTime

With the news emerging that State Court employees are blocking off a public street in Lower Manhattan to run their own, private valet parking service while illegal government employee parking costs New York City $46 million in potential annual revenues, Streetsblog thought this might be a good time to let former DOT Deputy Commissioner "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz, the Yoda of New York City parking policy, explain why it matters:

If we got rid of the government workers who are driving into Lower Manahttan, we could widen almost every sidewalk in Lower Manhattan. Right now so much space is just taken up by government workers who are encouraged to drive in. They get permits and they put them on their dashboard and they use up valuable space right in the heart of the financial district. The police department rarely writes a summons even if they are committing the most egregious violation, next to a hydrant, next to a bus stop, in a no standing zone.

And it's not just the downtown area. Adjacent to some of the public schools we allow teachers to park. Why we give them parking, I don't know. They say, 'It's hard to get to that school.' Well, it's probably hard for that butcher who has a little shop on that block to get there. And it's hard for the person at the dry cleaners to get there, but we don't give them parking spots. Why we give public employees parking spots is beyond me.

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