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City cuts parking placards but Ed. Dept. gets increase

The city is reducing the number of parking placards it gives out to its employees, though the Department of Education bucked the trend, getting more than 1,000 additional permits this year.

Public school employees who travel between schools during the day — such as physical therapists and speech pathologists — were added to the rolls this year, bringing to 12,285 the number of permits issued to the Department of Education, according to the mayor’s office. In each of the previous two year, 11,150 were give to the DOE.

“We revised the number of DOE placards after the itinerant employees made a compelling case why they should have them,” said Jason Post, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A DOE spokeswoman declined to comment.

The 63,003 total placards handed out this year is still down significantly from the nearly 144,000 issued in 2007. In that year, 64,000 permits were issued to DOE workers alone.

“In general I think they shouldn’t be used at all,” said Manhattan resident, Christopher Davis, 43. “People should have to deal with the traffic and the congestion like the rest of us.”

Public scrutiny of the placards reached a crescendo in 2007 after a stream of reports about misuse of the permits and the release of a Transportation Alternatives study that found 77 percent of placard holders were using them illegally.

In 2008, the Bloomberg administration slashed the number of permits by 54 percent.

Nick Klopisis contributed to this story. 

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