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.