Last year the Bloomberg administration made a big deal about reducing the number of parking placards issued to city employees, slashing them by over 25,000. At the time, the cutback on permits, which allow cops, civil servants, and other lucky bureaucrats to park almost anywhere, was heralded by Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives as “a good first step. But the final analysis will be weeks and months from now, when we see how actively these plaques are enforced."

So last week the group decided to test enforcement themselves, creating a bogus parking placard with the name of a non-existent city agency, the "Citizen Protection Administration." Spokesman Wiley Norvell spent six hours parking a Mazda Miata at various illegal spots around Manhattan, he didn't get a single ticket! The first spot was a no-standing zone, which is off-limits even with a legitimate placard. Two NYPD traffic agents wrote out several tickets for cars across the street, then one inspected the Miata and called out to the other one, "It says Citizen Protection Administration."

According to the Post, the officer "then threw up his hands, shrugged his shoulders and walked on." A similar cluelessness was observed at other locations around the Upper East Side. In a statement, Norvell said, "If the NYPD can't distinguish official permits from bogus ones, and if they're unwilling to ticket placarded vehicles that are parked illegally regardless of what's in the dashboard, then this problem will continue to fester." Until then, to the laminator!