Eyes on the Street: Parking Placard Abuse in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Placard abuse in action. Photo: Eli Forsythe
This placard holder was on “official business” in front of a fire hydrant for at least 24 hours straight. Photo: Eli Forsythe

Parking placard abuse might be most noticeable in hotspots like Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, but it’s an epidemic in neighborhoods across the city. Reader Eli Forsythe sent in photos of an illegally-parked car with a placard on the dash in Prospect Lefferts Gardens last weekend.

“Cars are constantly parking in front of my building,” he writes. “Many of the placards used clearly seem to be placard abuse.”

The car was parked in a no-parking zone in front of a fire hydrant on the north side of Captain Oakley Jr. Square, where Caton and Bedford Avenues meet. The driver was parked using a parole officer placard on “official business” for at least 24 hours on Sunday and Monday.

Even real placards (as opposed to the bogus variety) don’t give drivers carte blanche to park in bus stops, on sidewalks, in front of hydrants, or in no-parking zones. Spot placard abuse in your neighborhood? Snap a photo, including the curb and the nearest parking regulation sign if possible, and send it to tips@streetsblog.org.

Streetsblog will not publish on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. We’ll be back on our regular schedule Tuesday.

  • Eric McClure

    People who do this are scum – lazy, selfish lowlifes. I wear out the 311 phone app reporting parkers obstructing fire hydrants.

  • KillMoto

    Makes me want to smash the window and steal the placard. When the driver gets tired of replacing windows, or their boss gets tired of replacing placards, the behavior will correct itself.

  • urbanresidue

    Reigning in scofflaw parking is really necessary to create a culture of respect and safety on our streets.

    I shared some thoughts on this lately:

  • Kevin Love

    Loved your article on NYPD corruption. Yes, a culture of systematic dishonesty corrupts and perverts the NYPD. It has to stop.

    There are many other police forces that do not tolerate their members routinely breaking the law. NYPD can be one of them.

  • Guest

    This is bad. But probably not as bad as the dirtbag cops who work hard to protect their ability to drive recklessly. They put license plate hiders on their cars, tip each other off about locations of camera enforcement, and try to block legislation that would keep us all safe.

    Check out what they’ve been up to!

  • bolwerk

    God, that looks like it was designed by a 13-year-old in 1997.

  • Tyler

    WOW. And I thought the comments sections on Fox News was crazy….


New Study: The Parking Placard On That Car Is Probably Illegal

What happens when you put a police station, a courthouse, and borough hall in one place? Utter lawlessness. In a new report [PDF], Transportation Alternatives looked at the dashboards of the vehicles parked in the civic centers of each borough. In areas just a few blocks wide, hundreds of vehicles were displaying placards boasting of […]

City Hall to Reduce Parking Placards 20% and Centralize Control

Crosby Street, Soho: A veritable government employee parking lot. (Photo: UncivilServants.org) As reported last week on NYPD Rant, the City Hall crackdown on government employee parking placards has arrived. Acknowledging the dissonance between his congestion mitigation efforts and City employees’ flagrant parking abuse, Mayor Bloomberg today announced a reduction in the number of city government […]

DOT Study Measures Lower Manhattan Placard Abuse

  A Department of Transportation study released Friday shows just how out of control placard parking is in Manhattan. The 187-page report [PDF], accompanied by some 223 pages of maps, was undertaken to assess "how placards are used in Lower Manhattan," and to determine if placard users are taking up more space than is allotted […]

Free Parking Addicts Resort to Placard Smash-and-Grabs

The New York Post believes a rash of car break-ins in Washington Heights and the Bronx may be related to the recent Bloomberg administration parking placard crackdown. Thieves desperate for highly coveted city parking permits have gone on a window-smashing spree in The Bronx and Washington Heights, breaking into at least 10 firefighters’ cars and […]