Courtesy of DOT
The Q52 and Q53 bus routes brought dramatic redesigns for south Queens commuters by creating a dedicated bus lanes and improved curb space for waiting.

A slate of City Council bills is aimed at ending counterfeit and misuse of parking placards was introduced by Speaker Cory Johnson and Councilman Robert Holden, which they believe will improve street safety while easing parking woes.

Holden said the legislation, if passed, will prevent dangerous parking practices from government employees who use special plates inappropriately by parking in crosswalks and bus lanes by standardizing the application as well as clarifying parking laws.

“As a civic leader for over 30 years, I have fought against drivers who skirt our parking laws, create more congestion and put others in danger,” Holden said. “I am proud to partner with Speaker Corey Johnson and my colleagues in the New York City Council in combatting placard abuse and individuals who believe they are above the law and can park wherever they please. Parking in crosswalks and blocking sidewalks and hydrants will no longer be tolerated, and should be dealt with immediately.”

Johnson’s bills will address placard abuse will help the transportation crisis in key parts of the city where cars blocking fire hydrants, bus and bike lanes put people’s lives at risk while making exacerbating parking congestion.

“Placard abuse is corruption, plain and simple, and New York City cannot tolerate it any longer,” Johnson said. “We are in a transportation crisis and the question of how we allocate our street space is of paramount importance. As we try to fight congestion and encourage modes of transportation like buses and cycling, it is clear that cracking down on placard abuse has to be part of any serious attempt to make navigating our City easier and more efficient for all New Yorkers.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a crackdown on parking in bus lanes in late January, claiming anyone regardless of whether or not they are public servants will be towed if caught.

“The number of summons have been rising intensely in dealing with placard abuse but next month we are going to come out with a whole new phase of anti-placard abuse initiatives which are needed,” de Blasio said on the Brian Lehrer Show last month. “We have to show people that this is not going to be accepted. On the physically separated lanes, I mean I think, look, we have some challenges here that certainly are greater than a number of other cities in terms of just sheer density and number of people. But what I would say is what we want to do is double down on the Select Bus Service, on the clearing of the bus lanes, giving the buses priorities in the signals.”

In December, the city Department of Transportation claimed the rollout of bus lanes on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevard had been a major success, decreasing people’s commute times by 9 to 10 percent, despite community opposition to the proposal.

De Blasio’s crackdown on placard abuse and bus lane blocking was in announced in the spirit of decreasing commute times for commuters, he said.

De Blasio said in January that NYPD will now have squads of tow trucks dedicated to hauling off illegally parked cars in bus lanes with seven teams in each of the five boroughs, which could mean there are seven to 12 tow trucks across the city ready to remove vehicles.

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