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Fort Greene Gets Action from Spitzer on Placards

The Fort Greene Association has scored another victory in the fight against abuse of placarded parking, this time with some help from very high places.

According to Fredrik Anderson, the FGA's vice chair and head of its transportation committee, neighborhood merchants and residents had been frustrated that state employees who work at 55 Hanson Place were hogging metered parking spaces at Lafayette and Fulton streets. (The meters themselves, designed to encourage parking turnover, were the result of lobbying by Councilmember Letitia James, the FGA and the Fulton Area Business Association.)

The FGA waited until Gov. Pataki -- whom they presumed would be unsympathetic to their complaints -- was out of office. Then, as soon as Gov. Eliot Spitzer was on the job, they wrote a letter to the governor's office requesting action.

"Within a week or so, the placarded cars were gone," said Anderson. Not only that, the FGA got a friendly call from a representative of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance, which has offices at 55 Hanson, explaining that commuting employees had been asked to leave their cars at home. "The meters are now available for shoppers," said Anderson.

The FGA's April newsletter contained this reaction to the disappearance of placarded cars:  "We are still pinching ourselves in amazement."

Add this positive development to a police-driven crackdown on placards in Chinatown, reported by Streetsblog a couple of weeks ago.

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