Monday’s Headlines: One Placard Abuser Gets Caught Edition

Sometimes all you need is a note and a union courtesy card.
Sometimes all you need is a note and a union courtesy card.

We had to admit to enjoying the Post’s big scoop over the weekend that the NYPD had finally arrested a placard-abusing MTA employee whose illegal parking and corruption had been in plain sight for years (frequently documented by the Placard Abuse account on Twitter).

According to the Post’s story, MTA conductor Harry Gomez was arrested on Friday afternoon and his car was towed away from one of his old placard haunts in Lower Manhattan. But the Post’s scratch-the-surface story must have confused mainstream media readers who are simply not aware of the low-level corruption by thousands of city and state employees.

Our readers, of course, are well aware of it through our latest March (Parking) Madness series (which enters the second round today!), and our frequent links to Placard Abuse on social media.

As documented by that watchdog site, Gomez has been at this game for months:

So here’s hoping the arrest of Harry Gomez after dozens of 311 calls is just a start (but we’re not convinced, given our coverage today of the paltry enforcement effort the NYPD is currently putting in).

In other news:

  • The NYPD is asking the public for help in finding a donut-doing driver whose stunt went awry and he critically injured man who had tripped in front of his car. The Daily News covered, but we’ve embedded the video below:

  • Speaking of reckless driving, another motorist has failed to see the Jersey barrier right in front of him or her — and flipped a car. It’s a reminder of why bike lanes need to be protected. (Citizen)
  • For some reason, the Daily News and amNY finally got around to reporting on the death of Queens pedestrian Thomas Soong. We had the story last week.
  • Republican organizers are trying to weaponize high gas prices, when, in fact, generations of Americans under both Democratic and Republic presidents are to blame for our nation’s filthy demand for oil. (NY Post)
  • Meanwhile, the Post wants readers to feel sorry for a hotel worker who drives into the city every day from Pennsylvania. And we do empathize with a hard-working man who has a hard commute — but the best public policy to help him and other workers is affordable housing near job centers and transit to get people to and from, not encouraging more driving.
  • Queens Borough President Donovan Richards supports ferry service to LaGuardia Airport. (NY Post)
  • We appreciated that the Times finally got around to covering the fight to reduce idling on the streets of the city — which was clearly inspired by our reporting last week — yet we have no idea why the Gray Lady chose to ignore the actual news in our story.
  • That said, we appreciated the Times’s tribute to Brooklyn pizza legend Dom DeMarco.
  • Wow, the old curmudgeon in Red Hook is really angry about anything that would discourage driving! (Star Revue)
  • And, finally, the mayor tweeted a picture of himself in the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, but he missed an opportunity to complain, as all straphangers do, of its decrepit condition both under the ground and above ground, where Transit District 30 cops abuse their placards with impunity.

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With the release of Transportation Alternatives’ new report on parking placard abuse and the introduction of City Council Member Daniel Garodnick’s bill to add scannable bar codes to official placards, the push is on again to curb the flagrant exploitation of parking privileges. Despite the substantial reduction in official placards by the Bloomberg administration in […]