Eyes on the Street: Cops With Placards Turn Ninth Avenue Into Parking Lot

Well, this is a pretty brazen display of entitlement from the placarded class.

Parking watchdog @placardabuse tweeted these photos of private vehicles parked in a turn lane on Ninth Avenue at 34th Street, creating a left-hook hazard for people riding in the bike lane.

At least one of the cars has a Midtown South/14th Precinct placard. The station house is just up the block, at Ninth Avenue and 35th Street.

Parking placards don’t confer the legal right to store your car in a turning lane, but for all intents and purposes that’s how they function, since enforcement agents are loathe to ticket vehicles with placards. Making matters worse, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has scaled back NYPD’s internal monitoring and enforcement of placard abuse.

The officer who answered the phone at the precinct did not know there were staff vehicles parked on Ninth Avenue. “We’ll look into it,” she said.

  • BrandonWC

    I’m just shocked they didn’t block the bike lane.

  • kevd

    yeah. it almost seems like they’re trying!

  • BBnet3000

    I’m more worried about the second-class chevron treatment across the driveway in the foreground (best practice is making the lane more visible with bright green across such a junction) than I am about the parking, since its a split-phase intersection.

    The hook threat is very real though when people park in the mixing zones and on the buffers before the mixing zones (which should be poured concrete).

  • Kevin Love

    “We’ll look into it,” she said.

    Kevin’s comment:
    And then they will spring into inaction.

  • Yeah, honestly that was my thought too. And quite frankly, sometimes you have to pick your battles. When I see people stopping in the bike lane to text, I hate it, but it is the lesser of two evils I think.

  • Vooch

    they usually park all along the sidewalk of the cross street blocking the sidewalk for most of the block.

    this might be a result of excess staffing & O/T due to counter terrorism theater.

  • MatthewEH

    The turn lane there has been blocked off entirely for several months. I don’t think they’ve been allowing cars to turn at all there. So maybe this is… not great, but not horrible?

    This is not on my most ordinary commute route, but sometimes I go this way to vary things. I’ll check up on it tomorrow.

  • MatthewEH

    Okay. No cars were stacked in the lane this morning, though there were a few cars making the left turn from the leftmost through-lane instead. There also wasn’t anyone from NYPD Traffic directing traffic at that intersection, though often there is during rush-hour.

    Overall, this seems to me… not horrible? Actually removing the turn lane there means that cars making the turn have to make it at a pretty sharp angle, so they slow way down, rather than using the turn lane as a slip lane and barely slowing as they move into it. That part may actually be a net win in terms of street safety.

    If there are parked cars stacked in the lane, again, not great, but if they’re ordinary sedans — nothing tall — I don’t think it creates much in the way of visibility hazards.

  • c2check

    You could always, you know, wait

  • Wait to text? Sure, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t, but if they’re not going to wait, I’d rather they stop in the bike lane, than keep driving is what I’m saying.

  • CB4 has reported this situation to the higher levels of DOT many times, with photo documentation, for the last 3 years . If you notice, the left turn signals were not installed properly and have not been activated. So NYPD just exploited a vacuum created by DOT.

    I guess we will need a human sacrifice to the DOT God to get action…. Or a press conference. This is all so exhausting… Why are they not just doing their job?