The city has issued 50,000 new parking placards for city school employees, adding to a total of almost 150,000 placards across the city -- worrying some New Yorkers about whether the privilege will be abused.
Teachers and school employees say they need the placards around schools, where parking is often limited.
"Sometimes we go to meetings, and then we need to park in the other school, so there has to be some flexibility within the system," a teacher who only identified herself as Ms. Martinez told News 4.
But parent Rolando Rivera said he believes that teachers sometimes share their placards with non-city employees.
"Most of them do park in the areas where they should, but sometimes they pass it along and that's not right," he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, in announcing the issuance of the placards along with a new unit dedicated to cracking down on the abuse of the placards, said Wednesday, "I forewarn everyone who has a parking placard, hear my message today: use it the right way, or you will be caught and there will be consquences."
Penalties of misuse will result in discpline, revocation of the placard and the car possibly being towed, de Blasio said. All placards will contain the license plate of the vehicle, and the name of the permit holder and authorized signature.
The new placard unit at the Department of Education will issue and reissue placards on an annual basis. There will also be a dedicated NYPD unit of 16 officers looking for misuse hot spots across the five boroughs.
The NYPD will also hire 100 additional traffic enforcement agents to hit the streets and look for violators.
The mayor promises tighter restrictions on placard use and tougher penalties for misuse. He also encouraged New Yorkers to continue to crowdsource and post instances of misuse online, even on Twitter, though the best way is to let the city know by calling 311.