NYPD Fraternity Group Abuses City Placard Law On The Day City Council Ratifies Placard Abuse Law

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Off-Duty Cops Get To Park On Sidewalk Next To Bicycle Lane .pngPhoto and caption by George The Atheist.

Elmhurst, Queens, New York

This was posted first on Queens Crap but it bears repeating on here. And it surely fits the title of this digital publication, because this is one of the most brazen acts of impunity ever photographed considering the brief chain of events in the course of 12 hours.

First by the NY Post:

City Council members overwhelmingly backed Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s plan to rein in widespread abuse of city-issued parking permits, approving all nine of his bills he put forward to crack down on placard abuse.

“Placard abuse is corruption,” Johnson told reporters ahead of the Council’s Tuesday vote. “We’ve tolerated it for years as one of those unchangeable facts in New York City, but those days are hopefully over.”

Tell me/us more, tell me/us more Cojo. And maybe with less trepidation this time.

Critics frequently complain the NYPD fails to crack down on placard abuse since cops are frequently spotted misusing them, but Johnson told reporters DOI’s involvement ensures NYPD will take the issue seriously.

“We wanted an outside check,” Johnson said. “Traffic enforcement agents who are supposed to be writing the summonses and tickets … don’t always do it because they are afraid of policing the police.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for both of those final comments by the speaker to manifest. Thanks to the ace photography of long time Queens Crap commentator and blogger George The Athiest:
Who:  The Columbia Association of the NYPD.
Where:  In Elmhurst on the Queens Boulevard south service road between the new Georgia Diner and Grand Avenue.
When:  Tuesday evening, November 26, 2019.
What:  Columbia Association police membership needs convenient and difficult to find on-street parking.
Why:  It seems that this membership has parking privileges that the rest of the citizenry does not.  

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Off-Duty Cops Get To Park On Sidewalk Next To Bicycle Lane (1).  

Regular street parking cannot be found, so we
 drive up onto the sidewalk.  Nice.

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Off-Duty Cops Get To Park On Sidewalk Next To Bicycle Lane (2)

As far as the eye can see, along the service road:
 dozens of bumper-to-bumper private cop-owned cars
 parked to the right of the bike lane up on the sidewalk.
  The Grand Avenue cross street is just below photo at the
 bottom.  The Georgia Diner is situated way off in the
 distance in the upper left behind the stopped bus.

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Off-Duty Cops Get To Park On Sidewalk Next To Bicycle Lane (4)

Illegally parked vehicles “respect” the bike lane by
not intruding on it although the drivers’ sides of these vehicles
are on the sidewalk.   Why can’t non- police owned vehicles 
do the same in light of the recent loss of parking spaces
caused by bicycle lane construction?

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Off-Duty Cops Get To Park On Sidewalk Next To Bicycle Lane (5)

All that’s needed is an official placard?

Apparently, the answer still is yes. But why would de Blasio’s NYPD do this so brazenly and arrogantly? Back to the NY Post:

Of the nine bills passed, all but one was approved unanimously.

However, five council members voted against a ban on city officials parking in bike and bus lanes, at bus stops, in crosswalks, on sidewalks and in front of fire hydrants.

So that’s how the NYPD will continue to get away with placard abuse, it’s transparent that during the writing of this bill some beneficial loopholes had to be placed (wonder who the furious five were). But come on now, to do this on the same day? They could have waited maybe a day or two to go back to their recidivist power tripping habits and parked all their cars in a nearby garage, since they and de Blasio are usually obsessed with optics.

But what’s more concerning is the shocking lack of local news media scrutiny, especially from the so called city blogs that publish anything bike related like Gothamist and Streetsblog. Maybe it’s Thanksgiving and all but this happened on Tuesday and I published it immediately on the night it occurred when it was messaged to me by GtheA. I even made sure to tag it on the Twitter to the intrepid placard corruption and they immediately like and retweeted it.

Screenshot_2019-11-28 Notifications TwitterScreenshot_2019-11-28 (1) Notifications Twitter

Usually when they do this it goes viral, but for some reason nothing came up, no likes no retweets and no subsequent news or even a request from the networks or papers. You think with all the coverage that bike commuting is getting, from new infrastructure and street redesigns to a rise in cycling advocacy that this didn’t get any follow up outrage from them.

It’s sour grapes but I don’t give a shit. The NYPD should not have been doing this and it sets a bad example to every citizen, young and old and will cause even more scofflaw behavior among them because they will have a reason to justify their illicit actions behind the wheel or even riding a bike or scooter. You think these cops on that evening would have thought for a second how their own illicit behavior here would set a pattern akin to the Broken Windows concept that they keep bringing up to enforce laws against lesser crimes.

And the fact that the aforementioned city blogs did not even pick up the scoop of this defiant abuse of power like they usually do whenever a biker gets hit by a car or a row of patrol cars block a bike lane is perplexing.

So to all these off-duty cops and the city blogs and also local corporate news media, what’s the fucking excuse?

 

Vision Tunnel: The Persistent Failing Of Commuter Safety.

http://i0.wp.com/www.thelodownny.com/leslog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/vision-zero-1.jpg?resize=750%2C569That guy on the left is either ashamed of the dubious success of Vision Zero or is a new sports mascot.

NY Daily News: Transportation department boasts record low traffic fatalities amid bump in pedestrian, cyclist deaths for 2016

The Department of Transportation on Wednesday touted a record low for overall traffic deaths last year, amid an uptick in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

Still, in the race to zero street deaths, 141 pedestrians and 18 cyclists died in 2016, up from 139 pedestrian and 14 cyclist fatalities in 2015.

The new year is also off to a grim start, with 10 11 people dying in traffic crashes — including seven pedestrians and a cyclist. By comparison, there were five traffic fatalities in the first 10 days of 2016.Since it’s start, the Vision Zero program has seen almost mixed success and failure in preventing injury and fatalities. But overlooked since it’s implementation is the societal and behavioral impacts, the shoddy unrealistic redesigning of the streets and an utter lack of enforcement, with the exception of the usual arbitrary quota traps. And now, in what can be like the chickens coming home to roost for traffic programs, there has been an alarming rise in vehicular manslaughter in the last few weeks.

All this hostile and callous behavior is pervasive despite that more bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been painted and constructed to apparently no avail, except as a marketing ploy for higher rates in the new towers and renovated old apt. buildings in the trendy hot areas of Brooklyn/Queens. As these lanes have caused the streets to be less ample and has produced more gridlock. Although it provides a commuting alternative for more enlightened, hip or athletic types or for those who need to save 27.50 a week, it has robbed a lot of parking spaces for car owners and commercial deliveries. Most notably on Queens Blvd. which was tyrannically decided by the mayor despite the objections of the residents and even the community board.

The seething reaction to this was clearly in the air when I saw this riding up the newly painted lane last spring:

bike-lane-rat-002

Despite the installation of wider sidewalks and pedestrian plazas, people are jaywalking more than ever, none worse than midtown Manhattan, as the areas are so crowded during the rush hours in the morning and evening people are walking in the streets, literally taking up 2 lanes of traffic. Compounding this problem is the defiant stupidity of being distracted by their phones.

Despite the lowering of the speed limit, there has been a dramatic rise in reckless driving and  hit-and-runs. The running of stop signs has become the norm in residential areas. Areas with perennial traffic problems at major intersections in all the boroughs have got seemingly worse. Exacerbated mostly by the president-elect’s demented intent to use his midtown lair during the transition of power, keeping his wife and kid there for the rest of the school year and possibly to still use it during his term, and the ludicrous Bruce Ratner/ Chinese oligarch funded metropolis being built in downtown Brooklyn.

But all is sunny in the Blaz’s New York as his press release states:

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that under the Vision Zero plan, New York City had its safest-ever year in 2016 with the fewest traffic fatalities ever recorded: 229, improving on the record of 234 set in 2015. Traffic fatalities have declined for three consecutive years, and are down 23 percentage overall since before Vision Zero began. With national trends showing traffic fatalities increasing over the last two years, the Mayor noted several other positive trends in 2016, including the success of street redesigns and a record-low number of fatalities among school-age children.

Mayor Big Slow thinks 5 less deaths is an improvement and then takes statistical liberties with the fact that fatalities went down 23% since the program began, which shows that deaths have been going down in slight increments, like the tally of the last year, which is nothing much to brag about, which only went down 2%. Although as much as I want to believe in our elected officials, even someone as immoral with no credibility on anything like the Blaz, there is something a tad bogus about these stats from their PDF. It doesn’t reveal the sources. Not the DMV, not the NYPD. This piqued my curiosity and also my constant skepticism of anything that comes from City Hall. So I went on an excursion, by using a very popular and lucrative search engine, to find out what were the NYC fatality stats from 2013 and I found something of interest.

Streetsblog: NYPD: 16,059 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 178 Killed in Traffic in 2013

https://i2.wp.com/www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2013crashes.jpg?w&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2Cpx

178. Which if is this actually correct, because the link to the files for these tabulations is eerily not available so it’s hard to tell if it was updated or underestimated by the NYPD, that would mean that since the start of Vision Zero in 2014, deaths went up 22%. It’s hard to tell where they got 299, which would mean 121 of the fatalities were passengers and drivers. Something stinks from the (giant dope) head about this.

One thing the PDF touts that our mayor and his crack p.r. farm team modestly didn’t is the meteoric rise in summonses. The amount of tickets being distributed clearly has not deterred scofflaw driving habits. Most intriguing is the amount of automated ticketing for speeding has went up 66 % in 2 years, while it has no record of the amount before Vision Zero started.

This is not lost on the citizenry, most of all to the sister of Hermanda Booker, 29, Rhondelle, of the latest casualty of a reckless selfish shithead:

Rhondelle believes that the city, rather than overinvesting in red light and speed enforcement cameras, should install surveillance cameras near dangerous intersections like the one where her sister was killed. “I feel that the city is more interested in generating money than protecting pedestrians,” she said.

NY Daily News

It might be an easy bet that it’s the former. Especially with the amount of spending going on for superficial infrastructure improvements for transients and tourists, extra lucre for the developers while 421a gets restructured for their benefit, police OT for surveillance of protests by Trump Tower (this will not stop), and staff for the mayor’s re-election campaign. Everyone else just better be aware of their surroundings to the point of extreme paranoia for the time being.

Update: As for the amount of summonses distributed, it’s readily apparent that it has not deterred reckless driving:

Gothamist:

The woman was rushed to Kings County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to an NYPD spokesperson who confirmed today that the driver, who remained at the scene, has not been arrested or issued any summons. The spokesperson also said that the NYPD’s specialized Collision Investigation Squad [CIS] had not been assigned to the case, speculating this was because the pedestrian’s injuries were “non-life threatening.”

So it’s demostrably clear that the NYPD’s handling of preventable incidents like these is not being treated with the severity it warrants, or perhaps a refusal too similar to the way that commanding officer in Greenpoint distinguished not so bad rapes from bad rapes. Which can only further enable more acts of reckless stupidity behind the wheel.