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USPS pulls parking placards after workers’ illegal use exposed

Park it elsewhere: The Postal Service’s placards look official, but don’t entitle workers to any special treatment on city streets, a Postal Service spokesman confirmed.
Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about being returned to sender!

The United States Postal Service is revoking parking placards issued to workers at a Park Slope office after a Brooklyn Paper investigation exposed the employees regularly used them to park illegally on local streets.

“Those are all being collected at the station, the placards should not be out there in the first place,” said Postal Service spokesman Xavier Hernandez. “We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention on behalf of your readers.”

Placards are typically issued to office managers, who are only to display them in their private vehicles while on official Postal Service business, such as attending meetings, Hernandez said.

But they do not entitle workers to flaunt city laws, he said — which is exactly what this newspaper spotted the owners of no-less than 14 private vehicles doing outside the post office on Ninth Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues on June 28, when they stuck the federal-agency-issued placards in the windshields of the cars parked in public, metered spaces.

Another vehicle parked in a metered space sported a Postal Service hat in its window, and none of the 15 vehicles had visible meter receipts indicating their owners paid to park in the spots.

“It should be clear that using a postal placard does not prevent any vehicle from the consequences of being in violation of the law,” Hernandez said.

And the service isn’t only pulling its placards from employees in Brooklyn, according to the spokesman, who said the rampant abuse extends way beyond the borough.

“Postal placards are no longer being issued,” he said.

A Sloper brought up the chronic, illegal parking at a meeting of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee on June 21, when city officials presented their plans to make Ninth Street safer for cyclists and pedestrians after a driver smashed into five people crossing the road at Fifth Avenue, killing two children and an unborn baby.

The civic gurus agreed that placard abuse outside the Ninth Street post office is a reoccurring — and potentially dangerous — problem, noting how it prompts customers to double-park and block the roads’ bike lanes, forcing cyclists into traffic.

“It bothers me there’s so much double-parking on Ninth Street, especially in front of the post office,” said Eric McClure, the Transportation Committee’s chairman. “People who stop at the post office to drop off mail, or pick up packages, can’t park at the curb because the space is taken up by workers.”

And local cops who neglect to ticket the illegally parked vehicles aren’t helping to curb the problem, according to McClure, who demanded police crack down on the rule-breaking postal workers.

“It’s certainly something NYPD should be enforcing,” he said. “They work hard, but so do a lot of New Yorkers, who don’t have hats or placards to put in the window.”

A Police Department rep did not respond to requests for comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:40 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jimmy Hernandez from Bk says:
When you refer to them as “illegal” cars you are making a value judgement!
What makes some cars white, but others illegal?!?
July 2, 6:15 am
Nestor from Brooklyn says:
yup, get those postal placard abusers out of those spots so they can rightfully be abused by NYPD & FDNY placard and theft vest thieves! Where the hell are off duty NPD family members going to park if the postal workers steal the spots first? No justice in this city
July 2, 8:31 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Theft? Oh my word, the drama is too much. Thankfully, there will now be peace on earth now that a few placards have been taken away.
July 2, 8:48 am
Lawmaker from NYC says:
Make all government vehicle pass holders required to submit an official weekly line item report for their pass describing date, time start & stop, description of use and signature. And their superior must approve by signing and dating.

Then tickets could be issued as a routine matter as well as complaints filed on them, and as long as their report comes up with a legitimate use, all's good, if not, fine to the holder, then after that - three strikes and your out!

If we can have control systems for the public, we can have them for government, and in government we need them all the more!

Till then, take photos of these abusers and 311 them. We must hold our government accountable.
July 2, 9 am
Frank from East Side says:
Some Postal workers are using their privately owned vehicles fir official duties. If I was one of them I would tell management that I am no longer going to be using my personal vehicle for company business - you needto supply me with a company vehicle with proper Postal demarkation and Govt. License plates. If my insurance company found out that I was using my own vehicle for company business they would double or triple my insurance cost.
July 2, 9:32 am
Bill Bogus from Somewhere in Kansas says:
But... but... but.. you don't understand. USPS managers are special. They are above the law. They are more deserving than anybody else. They are... GODS. They deserve their placards, and the right to park anyplace they please. Leave them alone.
July 2, 11:17 am
Bill from Westside story. says:
Give them orange cones that is what the City workers do when they go to lunch or to the bank.
July 2, 1:02 pm
Lawrence from crown heights says:
With parking spaces being taken away with bike stations, I find the abuse of NYC govt agency placards being overly abused! In my neighborhood, ACA has taken parking on local streets. Can someone explain why teachers, firemen, police, etc all need placards to park their pov's illegally? Take the dam public transportation like most NYers do to get to work!
July 2, 1:11 pm
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Have you ever noticed that United States postal service trucks do not have state–issued license plates? In fact, such trucks do not have license plates on them at all.
July 2, 3:47 pm
Jeff from Kansas says:
Each postal vehicle has a 7 digit number posted on the vehicle and that is essentially its license plate.
July 2, 4:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I too agree that placard abuse needs to be stopped. The placards aren't really supposed to be used as get out of jail free cards to park wherever you please. They are meant to only park in areas that are designated for them. It's not just the postal service, but also for police and other government workers that are abusing them. I betcha a lot of revenue can be placed cracking down on placard abusers. On a side note, this abuse might be the same if residential parking permits get issued only with residents doing this, which could end up being the same kind of fear from the placard abusers.
July 2, 5:23 pm
James from Brooklyn says:
Flout
July 2, 8:42 pm
Anna from Park Slope says:
This is my local post office. Seriously, placard abuse is the least of this post office's problems. The interior is filthy. The staff literally yells at the customers. They are unable to forward mail. Packages disappear into thin air, as do complaints placed on the USPS website. On the delivery front, it's not uncommon to receive mail that was addressed to an entirely different address. It's just a pathetic operation.
July 2, 8:44 pm
Native NYer Lady from UWS says:
Blah, blah, blah...it's always those transplants crying about NYC life. Go back to Sunny Brook Farms and try living that Sex in the City life there!
July 3, 7:11 am
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
LOL, lil Mr. ford was crying about law and order in our country regarding immigrants [seeking asylum] and now has changed his tune. It's odd how he's so selective about which laws are important. What an idiot.
July 3, 2:45 pm
Robert from 70th between 3rd and Lexington says:
The Manhattan high school for girls. The security gaurd prints signs on there office printer "Manhattan school for girls" and gives them out to teachers. This security gaurd harrassed me and others for parking in his area.There is no parking between 7 am and 9am for buses but he makes sure sports are saved for his employees.
July 3, 3:25 pm
Leroy from Bklyn says:
Show me a Post Office where there are no cars parked in front with USPS placards
July 4, 8:09 pm
Lisa from Brooklyn. says:
Wow,wow,wow.I'm really disappointed by what I'm reading here.Clearly,what these carriers do(delvering your mail) on a daily basis in all types of weather is not appreciated at all.Not all carriers are the same and not all of them use and abuse those placards.For those that are abusing them,shame on you.
July 6, 10:11 pm
Jake from Ditmas Park says:
Hey man the word is flout.
July 9, 8:01 am
Jason from LES says:
Government/city employment seems to encourage a huge mentality of self-importance and entitlement and I've never seen an exception to this. As soon as these people are hired they are "initiated" into a brotherhood which perceives itself as more important than everyone else. The placards are a tangible confirmation of this in their minds. As soon as you have that piece of card on your dash, you can expect the NYPD to show you "professional courtesy" as a fellow government worker. Cops share your view that you're more important than civilians and they'll also take any excuse they can get their hands on to avoid enforcing the law against a motorist.

"Crackdowns" like this are nothing more than a temporary response to bad publicity. The Post Office will make a brief show of pretending to care about the issue, then once the furor has died down everyone will be back to stealing metered parking, parking on sidewalks and next to fire hydrants. Government workers are a law unto themselves and are completely out of control - always have been and always will be. The same is true in every country.
July 10, 8:42 am
Jason from LES says:
Lisa, comments like yours almost alway accompany any story about city workers abusing their privileges or breaking the law. "You people are ungrateful. How about you appreciate what they do." Well, there's that hugely inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement coming out again. I'll tell you what they do Lisa - a job, no harder than anyone else's and no more important than anyone else's. Mail delivery isn't even that crucial anymore - most of ourimportant communication is done electronically, and we're paying mail carriers to deliver mostly junk mail. There are people with way more important jobs. What about someone who works in a research lab developing new life saving drugs? Or who works for a company which manufactures incubators for premature babies? Do they receive placards? Are they "entitled" to flout the law because of their profession? Of course not! We have to STOP tolerating the entitlement mentality which comes along with public service, because it just leads to abuse, mediocrity, incompetence, complacency and inefficiency.
July 10, 8:47 am
Melody from Park Slope says:
Brooklyn Paper, this is only half of the story. Here is the other half. On 8th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues, postal trucks have taken over. Postal trucks, routinely (daily) park at the fire hydrants for hours and often overnight. No consequences because they are federal trucks. Furthermore, the postal employees have a scheme that allows them to take over residential parking on this street. The employees park the postal trucks on the street at the end of their shifts - taking up two parking spots per truck. Then in the morning, when they arrive for work, they park one to two cars in the spot that each truck was taking up. It is a cycle that they repeat daily leaving residents with no parking on their block. Just last night there were 8 postal trucks parked on this block over night, while there were open spaces in the postal parking lot. As you know, commercial trucks parked in the street are illegal and create an unsafe environment for the block. Children playing on the sidewalk with their balls are impacted when their ball goes in the street and they have this huge commercial truck obstructing their view of oncoming traffic when they go to retrieve their balls. If someone were to be mugged these large commercial trucks limit vision and sound creating a very unsafe situation. Simply crossing the street to get to the other side is dangerous with all these big commercial trucks blocking the view. Again, these are federal employees with federal trucks and calls to the postal manager, police, Brad Lander's office, Nydia Velázquez office go nowhere because they hide behind "federal employee" banner. These commercial trucks parked on the street each evening and through the night are DANGEROUS. So, while taking away the parking permits was a step in the right direction, the postal employees have always had a work around. The situationI I describe did not just start since the permits have been revoked, it has been going on for years.
Aug. 20, 11:12 am
8thStreetDad from Park Slope says:
Melody, everything you point out in your post is 1000% correct, and fully agree that the postal trucks have essentially taken over this block. I have also contacted all of the same agencies you mention, to no avail. It's a huge problem and nobody will take accountability.
Aug. 29, 3:38 pm

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