By David Brand
A Flushing lawmaker has parked himself on the enemies list of a local vehicle placard watchdog.
Assemblymember Ron Kim and his wife frequently leave their cars in no-standing zones on 40th Road near their Downtown Flushing home, according to the Twitter account @PlacardAbuse and photos obtained by the Eagle.
Kim’s state Assembly-issued parking placards have inoculated them from any repercussions for parking where everyday New Yorkers would be towed and hit with fines, the account alleges.
The @PlacardAbuse account calls out leaders, cops and everyday citizens for abusing their state or city-issued parking placards and leaving their cars wherever they please, including sidewalks, no-standing zones and in front of fire hydrants.
The account has called out Kim on several occasions for using his Assembly placard to park in no-standing zones. Kim, who ran for public advocate in February, told the Eagle he understands the advocates’ concerns about public officials abusing their placards.
“I’m trying my best to not use my plaque and to put my car in legitimate places moving forward,” Kim said. ”I feel horrible that some people feel that I’ve been abusing my placard.
Other violators are far more hostile to being called out for placard abuse.
In 2018, State Sen. Kevin Parker tweeted “Kill Yourself!” at a complainant who exposed his alleged illegal parking.
Parking placard abuse opponents have routinely criticized the NYPD for not enforcing parking laws, and the leaders who violate the vehicle code.
The issue has also reached the Queens Criminal Courthouse on Queens Boulevard, where court staff have routinely parked in the short press parking zone, the Eagle reported in December 2018.
On more than one occasion last year, a court interpreter — with a city-issued parking placard on her dashboard — refused to budge from the press parking zone even after a beat reporter from major New York City newspaper explained that the designated spaces were reserved for people with special press plates, the reporter told the Eagle.
“She said ‘I have a placard. I am allowed to park here. My supervisor told me I’m allowed to park here. I am a court interpreter. I work at the work at the court. There’s parking just up ahead. Why don’t you use the parking just up ahead?’” the reporter said the city employee told her.