PRESS POINTS

City lawmakers go after placard abusers

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The city council was expected to pass a measure Tuesday designed to crack down on improper use of city-issued parking permits, more commonly known as “placards.”

If the bill becomes local law, the city would establish a six-month pilot program requiring the New York Police Department to evaluate sites throughout the city based on complaints related to placard abuse, and document those efforts with photographs, according to a release.

That work would then be reviewed by the city’s Department of Investigations, which will be tasked with enforcement of permit misuse for the first time.

City officials also intend to “enhance” penalties for those using a fake placard, and set clear guidelines for revoking the placards of people who repeatedly misuse their permit.

Placard abuse has become especially prevalent in this part of the Bronx, where vehicles have been found by some observers to block entrances, streets and loading zones, among other places.

Part of the bill would prohibit official city vehicles from blocking bike lanes, bus lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks and fire hydrants.

 

Safety measures now extend to Marble Hill

Metro-North is nearing the finish line for upgrading track safety along the Hudson Line pushed forward by the deadly Spuyten Duyvil crash in 2013.

All trains traveling the 67-mile track between Marble Hill and Poughkeepsie now do so with positive train control. The federally mandated system is designed to eliminate the potential for human error contributing to train-to-train collisions, trains traveling into zones where track work is taking place, or derailments caused by traveling too fast into a curve, or into a misaligned switch.

PTC already was in place between Poughkeepsie and Croton-Harmon, but now extends all the way to Marble Hill, including near the Spuyten Duyvil station where four people were killed and another 61 injured. Investigators determined the train was traveling three times the posted speed limit between both the Spuyten Duyvil and Marble Hill stations.

Metro-North has been using PTC on the Spuyten Duvyil curve since 2013, one of five “critical” curves the line has enforced such measures since the deadly derailment.

PTC is now on 268 trains each day running on 90 route miles of Metro-North.

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