25,000 Fewer (Official) Parking Placards for City Employees

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It took a little longer than expected, but the City is significantly shrinking the pool of parking placards available to public employees. The total number of placards allocated to certain departments -- most notably NYPD -- has been reduced from roughly 80,000 to about 55,000, as reported by the Times, News, and Post this morning. The police will have 21,474 fewer placards to distribute, a 33 percent reduction.

Placards have also been redesigned to prevent fraud and abuse, said Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler. The News reports:

New standardized placards are designed to eliminate the dizzying patchwork of permits previously created by each agency that often stumped ticket writers.

"They were being respected by the people who were doing traffic enforcement because they looked legit," Skyler said. "If you have an old police one, you might as well have a Time magazine on the dashboard. It's not going to be effective."

Mayor Bloomberg announced the placard reduction plan back in January, initially targeting a March 1st implementation date. But when an inventory revealed 142,000 placards in use -- thousands more than anticipated -- delays ensued. The percentage reduction announced yesterday exceeds the 20 percent goal the Mayor set in January.

A separate pool of 63,000 placards issued by the Department of Education is in line for a similar reduction by September. Expect obstruction from Randi Weingarten, or her successor, should the current boss of New York's teacher's union succeed in her campaign to head the American Federation of Teachers.

Graphic: New York Times