Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Parking! (But Not For You)

Last year, I wrote a thing about how confusing parking can be on NYC streets in general and on my block, in particular. I mentioned how there were some contradictory signs on the block that seemed to indicate that only about 1/3rd of the block was reserved for teachers and school administration, but that if you looked a little further down the block, you'd realize that all but about 5 spaces were reserved for them.

When I wrote that, I had completely forgotten that Mayor Bloomberg's War on Parking Placards had been such a rousing success. (Opinions varied depending on whether or not you were one of the people who lost your parking privileges -- Us movie-scout-types had lost our Scouting Permits a few years earlier, so we were mostly just Schadenfreude-ing about the whole thing.)

Anyway, back in 2008, the Department of Education had their allotment of Parking Placards cut from about 144,000 to about 63,000.  This, obviously means less teachers parking on the street.  And that should mean more spaces available to the rest of NYC's driving public right?


See, the thing is, they may have made it so that fewer teachers are allowed to park in reserved spaces in front of their school, but the spaces themselves are still reserved.  Nobody can park there now.

Here are a couple of shots of the school on my block.  The two cars parked nearest the camera in the first shot are there illegally and have tickets on their windshields.

This one car, further up the block had someone sitting in it waiting for someone.

The school uses about 10 spaces on my block every day.  Put another way, out of 620' of parking reserved for the school, they use about 200' and the rest of the block is empty every day because the signs are still there telling you you can't park here!

Last October, I sent an email to my City Councilwoman, Letitia James asking if she could look into having the signs changed. I got a response, literally two minutes later saying,
"I will contact DOT and get signs changed.  Thanks"

I was impressed.  It's now March.  The signs still haven't been changed.  I sent her a reminder last week and she said she'd follow up.  I'll report back to you as events warrant.  (Or, if you prefer, I can emulate CNN and tell you "Nothing's happened yet" once every twenty minutes until I get tired of talking about it.)


Update II:

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