If Brooklyn Borough President Adams is really willing to take placard abuse seriously, he'd better plan for a long night on Tuesday.
That's because the Beep — who announced the 5:30 p.m. "town hall" on placards after he got lured into a Twitter feud with @CorruptBrooklyn over the cop- and court-adjacent mess at Jay and Tillary streets — is likely to get an earful from New Yorkers who are fed up with New York's most common form of public corruption.
Certainly Adams doesn't need a reminder that placard abuse is pretty much everywhere in Brooklyn:
There's no agenda for the public meeting — and it could last into Wednesday if all the safe-street advocates and other opponents of placard abuse show up. Adams said he invited both the Department of Transportation and the NYPD, but neither responded to Streetsblog if they plan to attend. And Adams himself said he has a lot to say on the topic, telling Streetsblog through a spokesman that the public forum will be a two-way dialogue.
Good — because for Borough President Eric Adams placard abuse begins at home.
Downtown Brooklyn is where city officials, including those in the Beep's office, park anywhere they want with impunity. At Borough Hall itself an orange cone and a piece of paper is supposed to denote an illegal parking spot on the sidewalk for the Borough President's car; and a city worker allegedly wrongfully booted an elderly woman for parking in a spot reserved for Adam’s employees, according to the Daily News.
And in the Jay Street turning lane last week — the impetus for Tuesday's meeting — one driver put the results of his 2018 Police Officer Exam on the dashboard of his car. He passed with a B-, according to the Brooklyn Paper, which reported the unique display of placard abuse.
So it's understandable that placard fighters would view Tuesday's town hall with jaded eyes.
"After years of refusing to address the illegal activities of his former colleagues and his own staff that beleaguer all of Downtown Brooklyn, he has at least acknowledged that it is an issue that merits his attention," the anonymous keeper of the @placardabuse Twitter account told Streetsblog in a statement. "There is no reason that a meeting is necessary, though. We all know what the problem is, so we are skeptical. A stronger leader would just stand up and do the right thing, without wasting everybody's time."
But Adams did create the forum itself, even though its birth was part "Birth of a Nation." After @corruptbrooklyn taunted Adams, saying he was "too scared" to take on the placard-abusing cops on Jay Street, Adams replied that @corruptbrooklyn's anonymity was "in the tradition of others who hit themselves with white hoods" — a reference to the KKK.
It is unclear if any of today's placard abusers are also Klansmen, but the issue of placard corruption has turned out to be as difficult to wipe out as racism itself. Streetsblog has been around since 2006 — and one of our very first posts reported on city officials' rampant placard abuse and illegal parking.
Nearly 14 years later, nothing has changed, despite vows from Mayor de Blasio and other officials to crack down on the abuse.
And this isn't the first time placard abuse has brought out strong emotions from a Brooklyn elected official — State Senator Kevin Parker told GOP spokeswoman Candice Giove to “kill” herself after she outed him for illegally parking in a bike lane last year.
Brooklyn Borough President Town Hall on Placard Abuse at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon St. near Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn), Sept. 3 at 5:30 pm.