Folks, if you like confrontational TV reportage, you'll definitely want to tune into Inside Edition tonight for their "I-Squad" investigation into parking placard abuse. The episode may also interest those of you who own a car and want to park wherever you want without getting a ticket. As the vigilant I-Squad discovers, many motorists near the downtown Brooklyn courthouses get away with parking in no-parking zones by placing bogus placards on their dashboards. These placards are distributed by their unions and say "court clerk" or "court officer." They're not official, but the I-Squad caught traffic enforcement agents walking by without writing tickets. Go I-Squad!
Paul White of Transportation Alternatives says, "All you need is a laminated piece of paper with the word, 'Official' on it and you can get away with it." Indeed, Transportation Alternatives did a test last year by creating a bogus parking placard with the name of a non-existent city agency, the "Citizen Protection Administration." A representative spent six hours parking at various illegal spots around Manhattan, and didn't get a single ticket. Back in 2008, the Bloomberg administration slashed the number of parking placards issued to city employees by over 25,000. Alas, the the cutback only focused on real parking placards.
I-Squad reporter Lisa Guerrero confronts the motorists using the unofficial placards, but they drive away in fear. The only one with the guts to face the I-Squad's righteous indignation is a driver with a legit handicapped parking placard. It's being used by a woman who is not handicapped, and she explains [SPOILER ALERT!] that the placard belongs to her father. But thanks to the I-Squad, this parking abuser stopped using the placard after the confrontation, and cameras "showed her doing what everyone else has to do, paying to park in a garage."