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Art pranksters get drivers’ attention with fake parking tickets • Brooklyn Paper

Art pranksters get drivers’ attention with fake parking tickets

An activist from the arts collective Concerned New Yorkers places a slip of paper that looks like a parking ticket — but is actually a questionnaire on NYPD police — on a car window.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Don’t worry, motorists: the orange slip on your windshield isn’t that piece of paper you never want to see — it’s just one of those surveys you’re never going to fill out.

Activists working under the name Concerned New Yorkers have turned many drivers into concerned New Yorkers by placing questionnaires that look like parking tickets underneath wiper blades across the borough.

The rationale is simple: parking tickets are a surefire way to get a driver’s attention.

“We try to use modes of communication that are familiar to people in New York,” said Boris Rasin, 30, of Flatbush, one of the main contributors to Concerned New Yorkers. “The traffic ticket is a form of communication between the police and the people of the city. You see that and you get this animal response and know that the city just d—– you over.”

Concerned New Yorkers’ citations are more fun than ordinary parking tickets. First off, drivers who receive them don’t owe any money. Then there’s the quirky stuff inside the envelope, which encourages motorists to share their thoughts on the city’s police department.

The fake citations ask Brooklynites to draw faces that show their feelings about police policies including stop-and-frisk, subway bag searches, and the controversial surveillance initiative monitoring Muslims.

Drivers lucky enough to receive a mock ticket even get to write a haiku to the NYPD, and complete the following sentence: “If I was appointed Police Commissioner, the first thing I’d do is …”

Motorist Jerry Blackman was shocked to receive what he believed to be a parking ticket — then relieved that the familiar orange envelope on the windshield of his SUV actually contained a survey on the NYPD.

“I was pretty tame in my responses, but I did suggest that some public drinking should be allowed,” said Blackman.

The Brooklyn-based collective behind the fake tickets has already put them under the wipers in Williamsburg, Flatbush, and Sunset Park — gathering more than 100 responses in the process and posting many of them online.

But the internet isn’t the final stop for these petitions, according to Rasin.

“We’re going to take them to City Hall and find the most appropriate person and dump all the responses on their desk,” he said.

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