We already knew that parking placard abuse has been running rampant in the city for ages (heck, cops' moms are abusing them) but the Daily News and Transportation Alternatives today prove just how absurd the situation has gotten. Using little more than Photoshop and a laminator they were able to park all over town, free of charge. Again.

The team put together a fake placard from the fictional "New York State Numismatic Agency" and slapped it with "the seal of the Republic of Bulgaria and laminated to give it extra gravitas." Then they put it on their dashboard and went parking. Overall they left their vehicle for "more than seven hours in illegal spaces near City Hall, Brooklyn's Borough Hall and in the heart of Times Square."

They even parked for three hours in front of a fire hydrant in Brooklyn without so much as a peep from the po-po! All in all, more than 25 officers walked by their illegally parked car over its seven hours of illegal parking and "the vast majority of officers strolled by without much more than a passing glance at the car—or the placard."

The Police say it was just an oversight that they missed the bogus placard—"Since the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau special initiative against bogus and improper use of placards began in 2008, it has issued 29,885 summonses and towed 6,484 vehicles."—but this little experiment seems as good an argument as any for the proposal currently awaiting a vote in the City Council to put barcodes on all official placards—a proposal that fits in nicely with one of the Bloomberg administration's many ongoing initiatives.

But while we wait for that to pass... anyone got a good parking placard template they want to share with the class?