Monday, January 30, 2017

The NYPD, illegal parking and false 311 reports

Some time ago, I reported a pesky set of vehicles which were illegally parked on Bridge Street in Lower Manhattan  This has caught the attention of a Twitter account @Placardabuse who for the last year has been tirelessly posting pictures of varying degrees of illegally parked cars and encourages others to do the same. You can read more of @placardabuse  on Streetsblog.   What I found out about the parking abuse, selective enforcement and false 311 reports - - all by the NYPD - - is very, very interesting.

  • NYPD issues parking placards to thousands of vehicles, many of which have expired placards, have no plate number assigned on the placard, wrong plate number assigned on placard and even illegal license plate covers are being used in some vehicles to evade red light, speed, bus-only lane and EZ Pass cameras.  One NYPD vehicle had an expired placard from 2011.  Many of these scofflaws are parked around the NYPD's Headquarters at 1 Police Plaza.  The parking abuse has been going on for years, herehere and here.  The NYPD Patrol Guide Procedure 219-29 (go directly to page 1898, it's a HUGE .pdf document) clearly states that a placard is issued to only ONE vehicle, cannot be laminated and cannot be used to park in No Standing Zones, within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, blocking driveways, bus stops, double parking, etc.
  • Selective enforcement is the mantra at NYPD, where Traffic Enforcement Agents issue summonses to some illegally parked vehicles while ignoring others.  At one construction site in Lower Manhattan, on Water and John Streets, I observed as many as twenty illegally parked vehicles, many with construction vests from Trade Off, a construction company, used a "placards" where they park everyday, robbing NYC of meter revenue and parking spaces for drivers who want to visit Lower Manhattan.
  • NYPD files false 311 reports, claiming that "action was taken to correct the condition", when the vehicle continues to illegally park at the same location, for months.  Sometimes the 311 responses would be of varying degrees for the same vehicle illegally parked in the same exact spot.  One day, NYPD would "find no evidence of a violation" while the next day "action was taken".   I even observed a Traffic Agent walk past an illegally parked car, then he tells another driver who was illegally parked to move his car.  
  • The parking abuse and corruption reported by @Placardabuse, has caused the Bronx 49th Precinct to block his account.   (and the ire of myself preparing this blog post).   How can an NYPD command block someone who not only did not violate policy, but was reporting fraud and violations of the law? 
  • The parking abuse has caused the ire of some NYC Council Members, particularly Councilwoman Margaret Chin who grilled NYPD Police Commissioner James O'Neil of the placard corruption.  
Let's start with some of the pictures around Lower Manhattan with the illegal use of NYPD placards.  Please note that this will be a multi-part report as there is plenty of discussion on this topic.  These pictures are taken by me.

Placard with no plate # assigned, illegally parked on Fulton St between Water and Gold Streets

NYPD Vehicle with illegal license plate covers

Placard expired from 2015, apparently an NYPD Captain, illegally parked on Water Street. 

Plenty of illegally parked vehicles around this construction zone at Water and John Streets - - just buy a vest from Amazon and park in Lower Manhattan for free. 

And try calling 311 to report an illegally parked vehicle.  If the vehicle is on the "no hit" list by the NYPD, not only they will not ticket or tow the vehicle, they will file false 311 reports claiming the "took action to fix the condition",  Take one vehicle, a red GMC - NY Plate HLR 8917 illegally parked on the south side of Old Slip, in a 24/7 NYPD vehicles only zone.  I would report the vehicle to 311 via. the mobile application, an hour or two later, NYPD says they corrected the defect, but I see the vehicle still illegally parked the next day.

Really?  How about this list, date of complaint, 311 reference number and result, going back to September 2016.  NOTE:  All ending times are the times when the 311 report was generated by the NYPD to "close" out the complaint, not when NYPD arrived at the scene.

  • 9/27/2016 at 12:44 PM  - - C1-1-1310607461 - - took action at 2:08 PM
  • 10/5/2016 at 12:38 PM - -  C1-1-1313753081 - - no violation observed at 1:10 PM
  • 10/6/2016 at 12:16 PM - -  C1-1-1314176431 - - those responsible were gone when NYPD arrived at 7:55 PM  - - seven hours later (LOL)
  • 10/12/2016 at 12:45 PM - - C1-1-1316477011 - -   no violation observed at 1:19 PM
  • 11/16/2016 at 12:37 PM - - C1-1-1330846931 - - took action at 2:42 PM
  • 12/8/2016 at 12:50 PM - -   C1-1-1340002771 - - vehicle was gone at 3:33 PM (but the vehicle was there at 4 PM)
  • 12/14/2016 at 1:38 PM - -   C1-1-1342666521 - - took action at 2:49 PM
  • 12/15/2016 at 12:51 PM - - C1-1-1343133931 - - took action at 2:17 PM
  • 12/16/2016 at 12:40 PM - - C1-1-1343673101 - - took action at 12:52 PM - - 12 MINUTES LATER????
  • 12/20/2016 at 12:50 PM - - C1-1-1345364321 - - vehicle was gone at 12:53 PM- - 3 MINUTES LATER - - THEY RESPONDED THAT QUICK???
  • 1/4/2017 at 12:59 PM - -     C1-1-1350869821 - - took action (they allegedly "warned and admonished" the driver) at 4:11 PM
  • 1/5/2017 at 1:08 PM   - -     C1-1-1351327881 - - previous tour???  (so much for the warning) at 5:15 PM
  • 1/6/2017 at 12:45 PM  - -    C1-1-1351759541 - - took action (again) at 2:08 PM
  • 1/11/2017 at 12:34 PM - -   C1-1-1354001831 - - police action not necessary at 2:57 PM
  • 1/17/2017 at 8:09 AM - -    C1-1-1356175191 - - vehicle was gone at 8:55 AM
  • 1/27/2017 at 12:22 PM - -   C1-1-1360707501 - - took action at 1:49 PM
  • 1/30/2017 at 7:42 AM - -     C1-1-1361651501 - - took action at 9:44 AM

And this vehicle CONTINUES to illegally park to this day.  To be continued........

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