Downtown

Seen city officials parking illegally? BP Adams says ‘text me’

September 4, 2019 Kelly Mena
Borough President Eric Adams has approved three Brooklyn affordable-housing projects. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle
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The borough’s top official, widely believed to be running for mayor, shared his personal number with a room full of his critics on Tuesday night in a bid to dissuade local residents frustrated over illegitimate permit parking from tailing him on social media.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams gave out his cell phone number, challenging anyone who has an issue with parking placard abuse — city workers misusing city-issued passes that give broad parking privileges to those who hold them — to contact him directly.

“Take my number. Shoot me a text. Take a picture, say ‘Eric I went in and spoke to the ICO [Integrity Control Officer], nothing was done.’ Text it over to me, I will reach out and find out what was done and what happened,” said Adams at a public meeting.

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Adams doled out his digits during a public meeting attended by about a dozen people incensed by the growing number of civil servants parking illegally on city streets — including around Borough Hall, where staffers and city judges frequently park on sidewalks and in turning lanes.

placard abuse
A car with a city-issued permit parked illegally next to Borough Hall. Eagle photo by Kelly Mena

A Twitter account launched in January 2016 dedicated to publicly shaming and monitoring the permit abuse. Earlier this year, the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to crack down on the issue.

Adams organized the parking placard town hall after being called out on Twitter last week for turning a blind eye to placard abuse around Borough Hall, and Adams responded by comparing the online critic to the KKK.

The phone number wasn’t enough to quell critics who said the borough president should lead by example.

“I don’t want to bother him personally. I think this is a citywide problem that does need citywide consensus and leadership. But he is one of our highest leaders in the city, so he can certainly start by providing enforcement in his own backyard,” said Armenoush Aslanian-Perisco, a downtown Brooklyn resident.

There are about 124,000 city-issued parking placards, of which 31,500 are issued through the Department of Education, 38,500 are issued through the NYPD and 54,000 issued through the Department of Transportation, according to Gothamist. Placards are also issued through state offices, including district attorneys’ offices, state police, the MTA police, the attorney general’s office and the Port Authority.

Another resident was completely unimpressed by the challenge and was more surprised that Adams wasn’t looking to make any promises.

“I wrote it down. I’m happy to send him examples of placard abuse and illegal parking in Brooklyn but I don’t think that his defensive demeanor is reassuring that he is actually going to go after illegal parking by city officials,” said Blythe Austin, volunteer for Families for Safer Streets.

“It sounded like he thinks city officials should be able to park wherever they want.”


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  1. Manhattan had a special task force to cut down on illegal permit parkers. Enforcement did have an effect but it’s not perfect. When we asked that that task force be extended to downtown Brooklyn, it was refused.