Eyes on the Street: WABC News SUV *PWNS* This Sidewalk Extension

Stay classy, channel 7. Photo: Stephen Miller
Stay classy, channel 7. Photo: Stephen Miller

New York City’s placard class — the elite few who park wherever they want, without consequence — obviously includes police and other public servants. But don’t forget the press.

This afternoon, two press SUVs, including one from WABC-TV, were parked on the sidewalk at the corner of Centre and Leonard in Lower Manhattan. The area, filled with courthouses and government offices, is rife with placard abuse from public employees and the press. The WABC SUV had press plates and, of course, there was no parking ticket on its windshield.

The same location in 2011, before the sidewalk extension was added and the parking lot in the background became part of Collect Pond Park. (Note the WABC van parked in the background.) Photo: Google Maps
The same location in 2011, before the sidewalk extension was added and the parking lot in the background became part of Collect Pond Park. (Note the WABC van parked in the background.) Photo: Google Maps

The corner where WABC parked its SUV used to be a marked crosswalk, with a slice left unpainted to squeeze in another (dubiously legal) parking spot. The corner was next to a surface parking lot.

In 2012, adjacent Collect Pond Park was completely reconstructed and expanded to replace the parking lot with green space. The project included new sidewalks and curb extensions, but even concrete appears to be no match for the “professional courtesy” that extends to all members of the placard class.

  • BBnet3000

    I’ve reported many a sidewalk parker to 311. I know the difference between a car parked behind the private property line and a car parked on the public sidewalk. In one case the app seemed to indicate that the police wrote a ticket (“action was taken”), in probably 15 others the police did nothing (“found that no action was necessary”).

    It starts at City Hall and ends at a sidewalk/crosswalk near you. There’s no way our politicians can spur the NYPD to action on this when so many of them are complicit. This is the real reason that a few of them riding the subway this morning was darkly comic.

  • Norax

    Ugh, I work in the courts and this happens basically every day. It’s a tossup between whether news trucks or NYPD are the worse offenders.

  • Reader

    You don’t get Vision Zero if the mayor and the cops don’t end this.

  • Mr Cogsworth

    The crosswalk in the 2011 picture is disturbingly creative.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    Isn’t the very act of driving a vehicle on a sidewalk “driving to endanger”? Any circumstance that required a vehicle on the sidewalk would be rare and obvious and limited to those responding.

  • Seems like something for the MUTCD to get up in arms about. Too bad they’re spending all their time regurgitating John Forester tropes about “segregated” bike lanes and studies from 1975 over on USA Streetsblog.

  • Guest

    Meanwhile, when was the last time the cops went on a ticketing spree for sidewalk cycling in the area?

  • BBnet3000

    I think the crosswalk was painted that way not to leave a parking space, but because the car is parked there so reliably and with such impunity that the DOT was unable to finish painting the crosswalk.

    I’d be curious if they made any effort to have the car towed at that time, but I would suspect the line painters desire to make waves with a member of the placard class, who might have their boss’ boss’ boss on speed dial, would be pretty low.

    Its too bad the license plate is blurred, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find that car parked around there today. I wonder who owns it.

  • Andres Dee

    Sorry, Jym. The guardians of the MUTCD and the green book only get upset when they’re “violated” to favor bicyclers and pe(de)destrians.

  • Miles Bader

    Really need some of those giant “StopHam” stickers to paste on the windshield…..

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/StopHam_(organization)

  • dporpentine

    . . . or in any area whatsoever . . .

  • dporpentine

    Now you’ve gone and made me want to get a tattoo.

  • neroden

    Certain persons other than the NYPD have the power to arrest. These include the mayor and city council members.

    I would advise that some of them start personally arresting the NYPD officers who are violating the law. It might send a message the NYPD would actually listen to.

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