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Digital parking placard reader coming to North Brooklyn

Program will crack down on abuse

December 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the launch of a digitized placard reader program in North Brooklyn, a major step toward cracking down on abuse and ensuring public servants use their parking privileges appropriately. 

Starting this week, NYPD’s Traffic Enforcement Agents in Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, which stretches from Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint to East New York, will be equipped to validate issued parking permits with handheld electronic devices. 

The devices will allow agents to determine if the placard was legitimately issued; if it belongs to the vehicle it’s placed in; and if it’s being used in accordance with the privileges it confers.

NYPD has issued 43,000 parking summonses to improperly parked vehicles displaying placards in 2021 alone – a 21% increase from 2020. 

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“Placard abuse clogs our streets and weakens New Yorkers’ trust in the government that serves them. There’s no place for it in our city, and I’m proud to take this next step toward a fairer and more accountable system,” said de Blasio.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo courtesy of Mayor’s Office

“Placard abuse has no place in New York City and we are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD for launching this program to help strengthen enforcement and keep our streets safe,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman. “The DOT has joined our sister agencies in sharing our placard data with the NYPD to help end this type of corruption.”

This program’s phased rollout will begin in north Brooklyn, with a special emphasis on Downtown Brooklyn. It will expand to lower Manhattan by mid-January, and to the rest of the city by the end of January. By 2022, all placards will be replaced with vehicle stickers.

“This project and new technology represents a positive step forward in reducing placard abuse and improving legitimacy in parking enforcement, an issue the public is rightfully concerned about,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn). “I look forward to this program succeeding and expanding. I commend the City on initiating this pilot project – it’s the right and fair thing to do.”

An article in the Eagle in 2016 focusing on Atlantic Avenue, quoting the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District, pointed out that businesses there were losing customers because so many city customers used phony permits and other city ID to park for free all day. 

Josef Szende, then-executive director of the group, told the Eagle that those who lack official parking permits still often got a free ride by sticking hats, vests or agency phone books onto their dashboards.

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