As if finding a parking space in the city wasn't hard enough.
A Manhattan man was hit with a $280 fine after a city transportation department crew moved a diplomat-parking-only sign about 15 feet -- making the driver's spot illegal. The action elicited a rare apology from Mayor Bloomberg.
"Mistakes are going to happen, and I think it's important that when they happen we are going to fix them," Bloomberg said today.
Savhit Mekeiten said he pulled into the parking spot on E. 41st St. off Second Avenue at 3:30 a.m. Thursday and, based on the signage, determined it was safe to leave it there until Friday morning, , according to The New York Post.
Without warning, two workers from the city Department of Transportation moved the sign from behind Mereiten's car to in front of the vehicle before Friday, according to the paper. The sign was apparently being moved to create an extra spot fro the New Zealand Consulate, the Post reported.
A tow truck then spotted Mekeiten's car and hauled it away -- despite protests from several witnesses. City officials told the paper that the sign had been moved.
"They're heartless!" the driver, Shavit Mekeiten, told The Post. "They have no conscience."
Mekeiten was forced to pay a $185 towing cost and a $95 ticket because he didn't have diplomat plates. Retrieving his car from the pound in Manhattan at 38th Street and 12th Ave. "took up my entire day," he told The Post.
"This is insane!" Mekeiten said after he unloaded his cash at the pound. "They don't care anymore. They just have to tow a certain number of cars per driver, and they do it at and they do it at any cost."
"They didn't put up any signs saying they could change the rules."
One witness told The Post he recognized the car and saw the debacle unfold.
"I know that car! They just moved the sign!" Nick Perkaj, a doorman, told the paper. "The tow-truck driver just said, 'I don't give a f---,' and they towed the car."