UncivilServants.org: Cleaning Up Illegal Permit Parking

In New York City, a privileged class of workers numbering in the thousands breaks the law every day by using government-issued permits to park their personal vehicles wherever they want. They disrupt traffic, create safety
hazards, and degrade quality of life and, yet, no matter how much people complain, nothing ever seems to change. One study estimates that illegally parked government employees cost the city $46 million annually in unpaid parking fees.

Finally, you can do something about it. UncivilServants.org gives anyone with a digital camera and an Internet connection the ability to slap a virtual "ticket" on the windshield of a parking permit abuser. By joining in you help show the full, citywide scope of the problem; car by car, block by block, agency by agency. If the city won’t deal with the problem, you can.

  • Christian

    Finally! Just last night I saw a car parked in a bus stop with a police card in the windshield. The traffic cops even came by and took a look at it right in front of me.

  • JF

    This is great! Some good news coverage too. This article made me go “huh”:


    “In 2004, Bloomberg stripped more than 250 city officials of the emergency lights and sirens in their official cars after Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman was caught by a television news camera crew using her emergency lights and sirens just to beat traffic.”

    I missed that. There were 250 city officials who had lights and sirens on their cars even though they didn’t need them? Whoa.

  • What about entire streets of illegally parked cars

    For example, 25th between 1st and 2nd, NO PARKING on the north side of the street 7am-7pm (as its an exit street from the FDR), yet every day its car after car…

  • andy

    This warms my heart!

  • SAJH

    Do parking violation count if its in front of a police station and by the cops who work there? West 35th St between 8th and 9th Ave always has cops parked either 50% of their car on the sidewalk or 100% of their car on the sidewalk, sometimes you have to walk sideways just to get by. If you had a stroller or something bulky, you couldnt pass.

  • SAJH,
    Check out the site, under the section “Is This Permit Legal,” where it explains the laws that apply to permit parking. No one is allowed to park on sidewalks, thus, the parking you’re describing is illegal.

  • JF

    Any tips on photographing cars where the owners may get upset and retaliate? I’d be wary of having a confrontation with a group of bailiffs, let alone sanitation workers or firemen.

  • ginsbu

    Broadway between 182nd and 184th is often narrowed to one lane each way due to police and SSA employees parking perpendicular to the street and onto the sidewalk. Having read “Is This Permit Legal”, the answer would seem to be “no”.

  • James

    I once called 311 because firefighters from a nearby firehouse were parking their cars on the sidewalk (I assume while on duty) and was told by the operator they were allowed to do it. (At least in front of the firehouse.) Not true?

  • James
    No one is allowed to park on sidewalks. 311 gave you bad information

    In many areas, permit holders park perpendicular to the curb when this is not allowed. You should see a sign that the DOT has installed that has parking regulations on it with a “rider” (usually white) underneath that says “Perpendicular Parking” or “Angle Parking” or “Back in Angle Parking” etc. Otherwise they are making the rules up as they go.

    Read the Assumption of Risk policy on the website for more info. There is no guarantee that an officer won’t stop you, question you, etc. Be sure to take their name, badge number, and other information down. You can send that info to the site administrators and they can try to help resolve any other issues.

  • galvoguy

    “Any tips on photographing cars where the owners may get upset and retaliate? I’d be wary of having a confrontation with a group of bailiffs, let alone sanitation workers or firemen.”
    have a second person there with a videocamera, carry a recording device and have it turned on.

  • Nicolo Macchiavelli

    Try Union between Henry and Hicks in Brooklyn.

  • Traffic Enforcement in New York City has gotten out of control. The Department Of Finance is the agency responsible for writing parking tickets throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
    New Yorkers are given parking tickets on daily basics. Double parking is a $115 fine, expired meter is a $65 fine, expired inspection is a $65 fine, parking 1 inch into the crosswalk is a $95 fine, worst of all, most parking tickets are written in a horrible matter with no consideration for the public at all. If parking ticket agent see’s you double-parked; they wont tell you to move, instead they give you a summons for $115. Even if you were dropping off your ill grandmother in front of her doctor’s office, you will be issued a $115 parking ticket. If you don’t pay for you tickets, the Department Of Finance will tow your car. Not only will they tow your car, they will also charge you for the towing. You would also need to pay for all your parking tickets in order to get your vehicle out of the pound. The Department of Finance often writes tickets illegally such as writing a parking ticket before the meter is expired, and issuing tickets to vehicles that have not violated any laws. All a parking ticket agent needs is your license plate number to issue multiple summonses. If you try to fight a parking ticket in New York, you will not be given a fair hearing, nor do the parking ticket agents need to appear to court. Judges favor the parking tickets agents over your sworn testimony. The requirement to become a parking ticket agent is minimal. Parking ticket agents have been arrested and fired for illegally issuing tickets, costing innocent people millions of dollars. The Department of Finance is forcing the middle class to pay these huge fines and driving them out of the city. Politicians get rich from parking tickets by having high payrolls and employing thousand of meter maids. The City Of New York is robbing the great people of New York. Traffic Enforcement is a Legalized Mafia. Count on comedian Al Burgo and director Angelo Bonsignore to expose this horrible agency. Check out the trailer “Legalized Mafia”. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid240279646/bclid240035820/bctid323680212


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Over at the site UncivilServants.org, the Transportation Alternatives project where readers can post photos of illegally parked cars sporting government-issued parking permits (like the court officers above who are comfortably ensconced in a no-parking zone on Crosby Street), there’s a hot thread on whether showing the plate numbers of the vehicles constitutes a potentially dangerous […]

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A car with a teacher’s permit on the dashboard is parked beneath a "No Parking Anytime" sign. The license plate number does not match the one printed on the permit. (UncivilServants.org) United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg Friday expressing objections to his plan to reduce the number of […]

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