Thursday, March 22, 2007

NYC Parking and the NY Times Reporting on Trolls

I'm very glad that I got rid of my car last year. Beyond reducing my carbon footprint, it means I don't have to drive or park here in the city. Parking is a nightmare here and doesn't need help in getting worse. The NYTimes reports that a website devoted to revealing where municipal employees are parking illegally using their Free Parking permits.

Not that I'm complaining, but as of this posting, the
YahooNews page has this story first on its LocalNews tab. I wonder if reporting on internet handles and chats will become the norm for the Times:

When a Web site called “Uncivil Servants” went live last week, the site’s operator didn’t know there was a “bklyncop1” out there, the screen name of someone who identifies himself as a police officer and who questions the site’s methods as a danger to the police.

The site,, is run by Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group that argues that municipal employees, especially the police, abuse their city-issued parking permits.
Critics, like Transportation Alternatives, say lax enforcement has, in essence, transformed the permit into a salary bonus, a perquisite[sic] for holding certain city jobs. An uncounted number of permits are counterfeit, the group says.

The Web site allows anyone to anonymously post photographs of cars that seem to be parked illegally and include as much information as possible to identify the offender. In just a few days, the site also has become a popular forum for impassioned exchanges in the city’s survival-of-the-swiftest struggles over one of its scarce resources.

“All I’m saying is that maybe, just maybe there is reason why certain cars are parked illegally,” wrote “bklyncop1” on Monday. “I don’t agree with parking at bus stops or hydrants, and handicapped parking is a great reason to draw and quarter someone.

“But,” “bklyncop1” continued, “to take pictures of cops’ cars with the license plate visible for every skell to see is dangerous.” Skell is police slang for a criminal.

Attention all NYTimes reporters, an internet user, see troll, is over at Atrios claiming to be a climatologist. The user, EarthIsCool, says global warming is a hoax.

Even though parking is a pain here, this is too funny. I never figured I'd be blogging about the NYTimes reporting on a concern troll.