Thursday’s Headlines: Eternal Darkness of the Placard Class Edition

The entitled placard perp strikes again. Photo: Eve Kessler
The entitled placard perp strikes again. Photo: Eve Kessler

It was a super slow news day, so we sent editor Eve Kessler into the heart of darkness — Midtown — to poke around. It didn’t take long before she spotted the car you see at the top of this story.

There's even a theft vest on the seat. Photo: Eve Kessler
There’s even a theft vest on the seat. Photo: Eve Kessler

There it was, a Mercedes with a fancy NYC Transit/MTA placard on the dash — and a looong record of reckless driving featuring 19 camera-issued speeding tickets in less than three years.

We reached out to the MTA to find out why it allows its employees to use company placards to park illegally and drive recklessly in one of the most populated parts of the city and found out a few things:

  • This is not an MTA employee.
  • This is not a legit placard.

“This is a fraudulent placard because NYCT does not issue any placards,” an MTA spokesperson told us, adding that the person owning this car is not a New York City Transit employee.

So that’s part of the answer. But many questions remain: Why does this car only have three parking tickets in three years if the placard on the dash is fugazy? And why do we allow anyone to drive so recklessly yet retain the privilege of driving?

And when are camera-issued tickets going to count for something more than a mere $50 annoyance to the scofflaw class?

Those questions need to be answered in Albany, in City Hall and in One Police Plaza, but all we hear are crickets.

Until they’re answered, here’s the rest of the news from yesterday:

  • Like Streetsblog, the Daily News covered state Sen. Zellnor Myrie’s police misconduct case stemming from cops using pepper spray and bicycles to subdue peaceful protesters during the George Floyd marches.
  • Also like Streetsblog, other outlets covered the latest advancement for congestion pricing. But we’re still waiting on the feds. The Daily News and Gothamist played it straight, but the Post emphasized Mayor Adams’s renewed demands for exemptions from tolls for people who “must use” cars. Ugh.
  • Bradley Tusk said the thinking part out loud in this otherwise cogent Daily News op-ed about politics and politicians, revealing how Uber gamed the system to execute its taxi takeover.
  • Former federal transit man Larry Penner offers the MTA some tips on how to pay for a $450-million second entrance at the York St. station in Dumbo. (Shorefront News)
  • One public bathroom per ZIP code? Hey, it’s a start. (Gothamist, Hell Gate)
  • Speaking of bathrooms, here’s a car that resembles one. (Hell Gate)
  • Queens J and Z riders, be warned: Track work starts this weekend. (QNS)
  • The Village Sun went deep on Assembly Member Deborah Glick’s relatively easy victory over Ryder Kessler.
  • In case you missed it, Families for Safe Streets co-founder Amy Cohen had a heartfelt op-ed earlier this week in the Daily News about the pain that politicians constantly require from victims in the fight for road safety.
  • State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli put out a good audit that showed that not enough rechargeable batteries are being recycled. But given that the 2010 law requiring said recycling doesn’t even cover car batteries, we think it’s time for some bigger action.

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At a City Council Transportation Committee hearing today, the New York Police Department announced its opposition to legislation that would curb parking placard abuse by requiring barcodes on official placards. NYPD claimed that it has placard abuse under control and that only Police Commissioner Ray Kelly should have the power to determine what tools are […]