On the heels of his decision to issue thousands of new parking permits to Department of Education employees, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced a plan to crack down on so-called placard abuse, i.e. when city employees park illegally and rely on city-issued or counterfeit permits to avoid tickets.

"We are going to be adding a number of new enforcement measures and new personnel," the mayor said. "There will be real consequences for anyone who abuses the placard."

Placard abuse has been thoroughly documented and decried for years, particularly along municipal corridors like Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which is lined with courthouses, as well as a police station and borough jail. Cyclists have raised concerns about police officers and other city employees double-parking in bike lanes without repercussions, forcing riders to swerve into traffic. Pledges from the Department of Transportation to address the problem have been met with derision.

The DOT authorizes city placard holders to park at meters without charge, and in "No Parking" spaces, as well as truck loading zones, in most cases. Placards do not authorize parking in front of fire hydrants, in bus stops or taxi loading zones, in front of driveways, or double parking generally.

Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that his decision to award new permits inspired him to "revamp the whole approach" to enforcement. Addressing reporters in the Bronx, he announced the creation of a Placard Fraud Enforcement Unit within the NYPD. Sixteen new officers will focus on identifying counterfeit placards and illegal parking in to-be-announced hot spots, while 100 new traffic agents will be trained to seek out abuses city-wide, he said.

Consequences will also be clarified. A new $100 fine will be instated for placard misuse, on top of existing parking violations. City employees will also be subject to "permanent ineligibility" for placards, which will now be reissued on an annual basis. Additional towing capacity is being added, and a new "DOE Placard Unit" will field complaints and met out discipline for DOE placards, specifically.

New DOE placards will also be issued for a limited stock of parking spaces—a measure de Blasio said will prevent road congestion and dangerous parking. "We think it will, in the end, level off," he said.

There are currently 44,496 NYPD placards, 62,000 DOE placards, and 54,020 DOT placards, according to the Mayor's Office.

"What's clear, regardless of the number of permits, is they have to be used the right way, and we have plenty of ability to crack down when they're not used the right way," de Blasio said. "I think what's happened in the past too often is there weren't clear consequences."

Throughout the conference, Mayor de Blasio described the issuance of new DOE permits as a "compromise" measure.

In 2008, Streetsblog reports, then-mayor Bloomberg slashed the number of DOE permits from 63,000 to 11,000. The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, a principals union, sued in 2009 to have said permits reinstated. Earlier this month, the CSA stated that, "CSA litigated and won the permits but the city decided on its own to grant permits to teachers as well."

Critics remain skeptical that new enforcement measures will have teeth, considering the NYPD's track record of lax enforcement and this latest influx of thousands of new permits.

"I think the NYPD has, over the last few decades, done an extraordinary job addressing internal challenges," de Blasio said in response to one reporter's skepticism.

New Yorkers also balked at de Blasio's apparent framing of placard abuse as a problem primarily faced by drivers. "People need every minute they can for the good things in life and end up spending a huge amount of time looking for a parking space," the mayor said.

"Parking is one of the biggest quality of life concerns for all New Yorkers," he added.

Following Mayor de Blasio at the podium Wednesday, City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydnais Rodrgiuez noted that only 1.2 million New York City households own cars. A new fact sheet from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign shows that 54.5 percent of NYC households are car free, though car ownership is on the rise overall.

"I hope we won't see as many cars on our roads, because as New Yorkers, public employees know public transit is the best way to get around," Rodriguez said.

DOE Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Wednesday that she plans to encourage teachers not to drive, new permits notwithstanding. "We will be sending a letter to all staff saying that public transportation is still the best option," she said. Heh.