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New York: City Bureaucrats Take Up Nearly Half of Street Spots
Massive abuse of parking permits by New York City, New York agency bureaucrats causes congestion and ties up 43 percent of available parking spaces.

Parking placardA New York City, New York Department of Transportation study released last week confirmed that the liberal distribution of free parking placards to city workers has resulted in nearly half of all street level parking spaces in Lower Manhattan being taken by vehicles displaying some form of official permit. This causes a ripple effect on traffic congestion and parking availability in the city.

"If one is at the top of the permit hierarchy with a Law Enforcement or Agency Business permit, one can legally park in the spaces intended for commercial vehicles or the general public as well as in No Parking areas," the report explained. "This happens frequently, largely filling up the commercial vehicle loading zones and any general or metered spaces not already occupied by the public. When these spaces are taken, drivers will park in the significant numbers of No Standing spaces, or at dangerous (illegal) spaces, such as crosswalks, fire hydrants, bus stops, or sidewalks."

Despite the generous parking rules that apply to the permits, a stunning 42 percent of the city workers' vehicles were parked outside of their allowed areas for more than three hours at a time, in violation of the terms of their permit. One out of every eight vehicles displaying a permit parked illegally in bus stops, crosswalks, blocking fire hydrants or driveways. The result is increased congestion.

"The use of spaces dedicated to commercial but used by official vehicles makes goods delivery more difficult," the report explained. "This contributes to double parking or the movement of goods down sidewalks from a remote parking spot, both negatively impacting the streets and sidewalks of Lower Manhattan."

By allowing vehicles with permits to park in commercial and general use spaces designated for others, the parking supply becomes overwhelmed, the report explained. In response to the findings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on city departments to reduce the number of bureaucrats eligible for permits by 20 percent. A total of nine percent of permits were determined to be visibly fake.

A full copy of the study is available in a 2.1mb file at the source link below.

Source: Lower Manhattan Street Management - Placard Parking (New York City Department of Transportation, 3/14/2008)

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