Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
NYPD

Placard Abuse: It’s Not Just For Downtown Brooklyn Anymore!

Photo: David Meyer|

Placard abuse.

We've documented placard abuse in Downtown Brooklyn.

We've documented it in Inwood.

We've seen it all over W. 55th Street in Midtown.

And of course, we found it at City Hall, too.

But the pain of placard abuse is felt most acutely in Far Rockaway, Woodside and University Heights in the Bronx — according to 311 complaints crunched by the website, Localize.city.

Since May 23, 2017 — when "placard" abuse complaints started to be logged by 311 — New Yorkers have made 3,663 reports. Far Rockaway near Shore Front Parkway and Beach 102 Lane led the way with 87 complaints, followed closely by Woodside around 31-06 54th St. (86 complaints) and University Heights around 2420 Sedgwick Ave. (75 complaints).

Now, the data are hardly scientific, given that the 3,600-odd complaints represent just 1 percent of all parking-related reports to 311. But placards are a perk given to our highest officials and law enforcement personnel — so even one complaint would be telling (after all, why are placard possessors parking at fire hydrants anyway?).

When an address gets into double-digits, it's particularly telling.

“The hot spots reveal where residents are particularly annoyed and vocal about neighbors abusing placards," said Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg.

Sometimes you don't even need a placard! Photo: @placardabuse
Sometimes you don't even need a placard to be a placard abuser! Photo: @placardabuse
Sometimes you don't even need a placard! Photo: @placardabuse

These kinds of complaints will likely persist, given that city officials steadfastly avoid cracking down on placard abusers — just 89 cars with illegal parking placards were towed last year, Streetsblog reported in June. As of February, there were 160,000 official parking placards in circulation.

The City Council could act to cut the abuse. And DOT has been mumbling about a centralized electronic tracking system. But for now, Far Rockaway and Woodside residents will just have to deal with their illegally parking neighbors.

Rounding out the top six are:

Financial District around 59 Nassau St. (37 complaints)
Bay Ridge around 134 73rd St. (16 complaints)
Maspeth around 61-33 Grand Ave. (15 complaints)

Based on number of complaints per 1,000 residents, Localize rejiggered the top 10 this way:

    1. Financial District 2.56
    2. Woodside 2.48
    3. Midtown 2.31
    4. Rockaways 2.16
    5. Maspeth 1.80
    6. University Heights 1.77
    7. Chinatown 1.76
    8. Downtown Brooklyn 1.71
    9. Long Island City 1.68

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: Hochul’s Fantasy World Edition

The governor has gone off the deep end. Plus other news.

July 19, 2024

Speaker Adams: Council May Not Use its ‘Sammy’s Law’ Power to Lower Speed Limits

The Council may not lower the speed limit, even though it fought so hard to get that very right from the state legislature.

July 19, 2024

Parks Dept. Has Money But No Timeline to Finish Eastern Queens Greenway

There's tens of millions of dollars for the greenway, so when will parks build it?

July 19, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024
See all posts