STREETSBLOG GETS ACTION (Well, Not Really): City Bans Teacher Parking on Play Street (But Then Does Nothing)

They seized paradise to put up a parking lot. Photo: Doug Gordon
They seized paradise to put up a parking lot. Photo: Doug Gordon

Lesson one, students: Mislead the media.

That’s the message being taught this week to middle schoolers at MS51 in Brooklyn as teachers continue to illegally park on a cul-de-sac “play street” between the school and a park every day since a Department of Education spokeswoman told Streetsblog that teachers would stop doing just that.

After Streetsblog’s placard abuse story on Wednesday morning describing the teachers’ illegal parking, the schools spokeswoman, Isabelle Boundy, told us that staff at MS51 would no longer park on the cul-de-sac, which is marked as “No standing school days.”

“All school staff must follow parking regulations and signage, and we’re working closely with the school and Department of Transportation to address the matter,” Boundy said on Wednesday morning.

But all day on Wednesday, teachers were still illegally parked…

Teachers parked illegally on Fourth Street in Park Slope. The hand-made sign refers to a former “Play Street” sign that the city removed recently. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

On Thursday, teachers were still illegally parked…

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

And on Friday, teachers were still illegally parked…

Photo: Doug Gordon
Photo: Doug Gordon

But the Department of Education long ago went silent, declining to explain to Streetsblog on Wednesday and Thursday why teachers were still illegally parked on the dead-end roadway between a school and a park.

The difficultly in removing entitled placard possessors is just the latest example of the citywide scourge of placard abusing public officials. Examples of this form of low-level corruption and violation of the public trust occur every day and continue for years, despite daily complaints, many logged by the Twitter account @placardabuse and by Streetsblog, which documents the NYPD’s failures to crack down on its own.

The bike lane on Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn, for instance, has been filled with illegally parked police officers’ vehicles for a decade — and only now the local council member says he will find a way to stop the practice. The same corruption is happening daily outside the transit district command post in Columbus Circle.

City & State NY is hosting a full day New York in Transit summit on Jan. 30 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This summit will bring together experts to assess the current state of New York’s transportation systems, break down recent legislative actions, and look towards the future of all things coming and going in New York. Join Keynote Speaker Polly Trottenberg, commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation, along with agency leaders, elected officials, and advocates. Use the code STREETSBLOG for a 25-percent discount when you RSVP here!