CONCOURSE VILLAGE — The NYPD will create a new unit and hire 100 traffic enforcement agents who can dole out an additional $100 fine to crack down on public employees abusing parking placards, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
Along with the new “placard fraud enforcement unit” and traffic agents, agencies like the Department of Education will have stricter rules and new technologies to make sure the nearly 150,000 city workers with permits don't use them to do things like block fire hydrants or bike lanes, according to officials.
“Parking is one of the biggest quality of life concerns of all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said during a press conference outside Concourse Village Elementary School. “We need to make sure there’s real integrity in the way parking is handled.”
Apart from new enforcement agents, DOE employees who don’t travel as part of their work will restricted to using placards at their designated school or office during work hours.
The city recently agreed to give out 50,000 new placards to school employees that they can use in designated spaces at school property.
Other new penalties will include revoking placards from workers who misuse permits or use fraudulent, copied or altered placards, officials said.
NYPD Borough Investigate Units will also look for placard abuse around precincts, courthouses and government buildings.
Additionally, the city will add more towing vehicles to impound improperly parked vehicles and the Department of Transportation will look to develop an electronic database that officers could access with license plate readers to lookup placard information.
De Blasio did not have an estimated cost for the new program, but expected it would “pay for itself” at least initially through increased fine revenue.
Officials also encouraged New Yorkers to report placard abuse to 311 or post videos to social media documenting improper parking.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said he was prompted get involved in the crackdown after his Twitter feed was “filled with pictures of public employee parked into dangerous areas” like bus stops, bike lanes and cross walks.
Leaders also think the new policy will encourage more people to leave their vehicle at home.
“You could drive a long way and not get the space that day and then you’re going to be hunting for a parking space and you are going to have a certain amount of time to do that in,” the mayor said. “Public employees should use mass transit to the maximum extent possible.”
Representatives for the police officers union did not return an immediate request for comment.
A spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers said he needed to look over the details of the plan and did not have an immediate comment.