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(NYPost)   City traffic agents were too busy writing tickets to direct traffic during NYC blackout   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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11055 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2003 at 8:28 AM (19 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

57 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-08-20 7:24:58 AM  
isnt this a Duh? statement... I mean how else are they gonna pay their bills, thats why the lights went out in the first place.
2003-08-20 8:31:43 AM  
I. Am. So. Not. Surprised.

At. All.
2003-08-20 8:34:17 AM  
"The spokesman said the department would not comment unless they saw a copy of the summons."

In other words, if I don't see it, it didn't happen!!!

What an asshole.
2003-08-20 8:34:30 AM  
City traffic agents in NYC are part of the parking enforcement unit - they're not traffic cops. It's not their job to direct traffic.

(I know, I know, it's not the job of citizens, either, but I'm just pointing out that the traffic agents are not cops).

They're still dumbasses for leaving tickets during the blackout, but let's at least get the facts straight.

Oh, sorry. This is Fark.

My bad.
2003-08-20 8:35:26 AM  
Just another reason why I am glad I moved out of NYC. Sympathies to those who suffered through this.

/born and raised in Bklyn.
2003-08-20 8:40:12 AM  
It's a silent testament to the never-give-up and never-think-things-out spirit of our citizens.
2003-08-20 8:42:06 AM  
Just doing their job is now a bullshiat excuse.

Common sense would say that all alternate parking regulations and meters are off when the traffic lights go off.
2003-08-20 8:42:37 AM  
Its deplorable, in an emergency they write tickets instead of getting people off Manhattan. I am so glad I don't live in a city.

Blame the union thugs. If they directed traffic some gumba union thug would probably lodge a complaint.
2003-08-20 8:42:59 AM  
Well, I'm pissed.
2003-08-20 8:43:15 AM  
I applaud the traffic agent for writing tickets. That was very thoughtful of him. He clearly knew that the tickets could be used as fans to keep people cool during the day and then set on fire at night to provide some illumination. This story deserves a "Hero" tag.
2003-08-20 8:43:45 AM  
I know, I know, it's not the job of citizens, either, but I'm just pointing out that the traffic agents are not cops

The traffic agents would have to be better qualified to do this work, even if the only difference is having a uniform on.
2003-08-20 8:45:08 AM  
This happened in NY and someone didn't pull the ticket weenie aside and "explain" to him where his duty lay?

Where's Tony when you need him?
2003-08-20 8:47:37 AM  
I am hurt and humiliated by the traffic agents thoughtlessness in time of emergency. I should sue!

No, I don't live in NYC. I live in Michigan. But I should sue anyway!!!

/hops on the litigious bandwagon
2003-08-20 8:50:23 AM  
They've removed just about all legit parking spaces in Midtown, and tickets are now in the $100 range. Even being late on a meter will cost you $50. Or you can pay a parking garage, starting at $20, more for each hour stayed.

It's as if NYC goes out of its way to punish and discourage people who simply want to come into the city and spend some money. Good business sense there, Bloomy. Punish the customer for wanting to enter the store. Dick.
2003-08-20 8:52:28 AM  
Does anyone else smell a photoshop contest?

Photoshop what is going on in the background while Officer Asshat writes tickets.
2003-08-20 8:54:20 AM  
Fark needs an Asshat graphic for stories like this.
2003-08-20 8:56:18 AM
2003-08-20 9:00:27 AM  
Assuming this guy was too stupid to figure out that he should have been helping with traffic - do you REALLY want him to direct it? The folks who ended up directing traffic probably did a much better job.
2003-08-20 9:00:34 AM  
"The three of us combined to keep traffic moving for about 45 minutes until someone spelled me," he said.


was that all he was waiting for???
2003-08-20 9:01:17 AM  
"The three of us combined to keep traffic moving for about 45 minutes until someone spelled me," he said.

Could of been worse, he could of been waiting from someone to spell Mississippi
2003-08-20 9:03:34 AM  
Submit it, bark_atda_moon
2003-08-20 9:09:20 AM  
Ah city employees. Gotta love em.
2003-08-20 9:20:28 AM  
How do you think they drove all the homeless drug dealing hookers out of Times Square. If you want to come to New York, better come with money.
2003-08-20 9:21:18 AM  
You never know..Maybe Bloomberg asked them to write tickets to make up for revenue that was lost when all the cigar smokers left for New Jersey to smoke their Cohibas.

[image from too old to be available]

They have to go to Bergen county for their fix.
2003-08-20 9:21:23 AM  
Doesn't the story say it was one traffic agent? Or was it a couple in one car?
2003-08-20 9:22:12 AM  
"A traffic agent watches 70-year-old Dr. Robert Richter direct snarled traffic..."

Ummmm, no, the picture pretty clearly shows him looking at the license plate, Mr. Sensational.
2003-08-20 9:23:03 AM  
Some things never change.

I lived in NYC back in the late 80's-early 90's, when the metermaids were called the Parking Violations Bureau, and were referred to as Brownies because of their brown uniforms. (The uniforms, incidentally, were changed to blue after their union complained that the "Brownie" nickname they'd acquired was racist, since most of the Brownies had a genetic predisposition towards surplus melanin in their skin.)

To give you an idea of how absolutely merciless these people are: I once witnessed a Brownie writing a ticket on a double-parked car. The car belonged to an off-duty firefighter, who had stopped to administer CPR to a man who had the nerve to have a heart attack on the sidewalk. I don't know if the firefighter fought the ticket, although I can assume that he just paid it, since successfully fighting a parking ticket in NYC is next to impossible.
2003-08-20 9:24:14 AM  
You can't see what the parking nazi is looking at; Himler could have been looking at the plate or the Dr. getting heatstroke while directing traffic.

"Papers please!!"
2003-08-20 9:35:06 AM  
The ticketing cops did there job. What's the problem?
2003-08-20 9:38:16 AM  
Maybe the traffic cop didn't want to screw up his ticket writing quota for the day, or maybe he didn't want to be late for the next fresh batch of donuts.
2003-08-20 9:39:34 AM  

Yeah, they did their job. But in time of emergency like when several million people are stuck on some asphalt island trying to get out before dark I think common sense should say they should help their fellow man and not be their usual commie nazi faschit jack-booted small minded thugs.
2003-08-20 9:44:40 AM  
The ticketing cops did there job. What's the problem?

Nobody's saying they broke a law, just that they're asshats.
2003-08-20 9:46:44 AM  
I think metermaids, regardless of what country you are in are the apitamy of "jobsworth".

I guess they all started out want to be cops or firefighters or paramedics and failed somewhere along the line, so in their warped little heads they uphold "the law" in a completley unbending way.

But yeah, much better to have some form of uniformed city official directing the traffic is much better than a pedestrian. I mean you only get 50 points for hitting the bloke and metermaids are a couple of thousand, bonus points if they aren't looking.
2003-08-20 9:50:22 AM  
" It's not their job to direct traffic."

Yep. And it not my job to EVER help a cop in trouble.
2003-08-20 9:56:09 AM  
Plolice are worthlesss. They do not stop crime. They do nothing after a crime is committed. They serve only as a fee-levying force to intimidate and harrass, selectively enforcing so-called "vice" laws, and serve as muscle for the wealthy. They're in the job of "rotection", protecting the rich and powerful, while the poor pay the bill.

The Nazi Police State is here. Resistance is Futile.
2003-08-20 9:59:06 AM  
There were civilians all over the city who took it upon themselves to direct traffic...I actually didn't see a lot of cops in the area I walked through, with the exception of one cop car who kept driving up and down 3rd Avenue to tell people to stop walking in the streets (how useful).

This traffic cop was clearly an asshat, though. Pretty lame of him to continue writing tickets etc.
2003-08-20 10:00:30 AM  
simply a matter of priorities.

The prioritiy of these folks is not public safety.

Their purpose is to scalp as much money as possible.

Their main purpose is to be a parasite.

2003-08-20 10:02:08 AM  
I wouldn't call them Nazi's....just incompetent.

There's many types of workers in this world....the two big ones are (A) the ones that need to be told what to do all the time "Yes Jimmy, empty the fry-cart again just like yesterday" and (B) those that think for themselves and act in a way that is best for the company, themselves, their clientele and the public (not necessarily in that order).

These guys were robots...nothing more. The ten dollars an hour they (likely) get paid is too much.
2003-08-20 10:02:45 AM  
While the guy is an asshat, I don't want to jump the gun on this one. Saw the story on the local NYC news last night, and boy were they sensationalizing it.

First off, this was early in the blackout. About 15-30 mins according to witnesses. Chances are this guy did not have a full understanding of what was going on, or thought it was temporary. The guy is going to just keep doing what he is supposed to until an order comes down that says otherwise.

Secondly while there may/may not be a ticket quota, its pretty easy to guess how many tickets joe shmoe should bring in on a tuesday afternoon by past records. I am sure if he misses this mark by a lot he is in trouble.

That being said, getting ticketed in NYC does suck ass. Not quite as much as being towed or booted though.
2003-08-20 10:05:38 AM  
Well, my question is, was this real early into the blackout, i.e. no one really knew how bad it would be, maybe thinking power to come back on any minute?

And, I do agree with some that he was not qualified to direct traffic. I mean, a citizen out there and something happens no one complains, throw a "meter maid" out there and have an accident and someone slaps a huge lawsuit against the city.
2003-08-20 10:21:10 AM  
I don't buy the 15-30 minutes thing. How long does it really take for law enforcement to learn that, oh, say a teeny island like Manhattan is blacked out, let alone 50 million other people...and to convey that on the radio?

You can bet if anybody started to kneecap The Brownie, he'd be wailing on the two-way faster than Louie Anderson could get to a buffet.

I decided to cancel my plans for a Fourth of July weekend in the city after learning of these absurd summonses (pregnant woman resting on subway steps...loitering). This makes me happier I made that choice.
2003-08-20 10:24:55 AM  

I was in Toronto on business during the blackout. They have just as few parking spaces downtown as Manhattan. Meter Maids were very frequently directing traffic up there.
2003-08-20 10:28:12 AM  
I am convinced that meter maids, parking enforcement officers, etc., are a species of hominids only distantly related to homo-sapiens. No member of our species would voluntarily take that job.
2003-08-20 10:28:13 AM  
You can't blame Bloomberg for this, no matter what the orders of the brass were to the cops. Cops are pieces of sh*t. I'm tired of them being deified and deemed heroes... F*ck them. If they weren't so goddamned stupid, they'd be doing something else with their lives. Do you know any kids from high school who turned out to be cops? Any honor students in that bunch?

Anyone who would even want to be a cop is taking advantage of a flawed system which will enable them to go on a lifelong power trip. I know they are necessary, but they are a necessary EVIL, and they should be reviled. F*ck the cops, and f*ck the criminals.
2003-08-20 10:38:17 AM  
Bloomberg is a class "A" asshat. He deserves to be shot and pissed on from great heights with a lot of enthusiasm.

Maybe he'll try to pin this on Canada as well.
2003-08-20 10:44:27 AM  
In most cities parking enforcement has nothing to do with law enforcement. It's strictly a revenue generator.
2003-08-20 10:49:57 AM  
It gives me great glee to grab a pocket full of quarters and play "Meter Fairy" every now and then. It's really fun if you find a meter cop who's writting tickets and pop quarters in all the meters with them watching. With each plunk of a quarter you cost the city $32! One time this primate meter-maid told me it was illegal and I told her to arrest me, then. She walked away.

Not as much fun as egging red-light cameras, but much less risky...
2003-08-20 10:51:12 AM  
I once pulled to the right of a car making a left turn at a light and had to stop when the light turned red. The other car went left leaving me next to a fire hydrant. A meter maid walked up, put her foot on my front bumper and started writing a ticket. I was flabbergasted. When the light changed, I hit the gas, pushing her out of the way and went on my merry way. The ticket arrived in the mail a couple days later. Good thing I was dating the States Attorney's daughter...

/Not a NYC story, just an asshat meter maid.

"Take home an Annapolis memory - get a parking ticket!"
2003-08-20 11:00:19 AM  
Back when I was growing up in Brooklyn, NY, cops used to come to the elementary schools and explain that they were your friends. If you ever needed any help, that's what the police were for. We had a neighborhood cop (Mike was his name, I can't believe I still remember that) who walked the beat in our lower middle-class residential area. He was a really nice guy. Everyone knew him, and if he ever needed help, a hundred people in the surrounding area would be there to back him up.

Somewhere around the late 60's to early 70's, that changed. If you even spoke to a cop without practically bleeding to death, you had an even chance of getting a ticket (or a baton, back before they carried Mace). Suddenly, you could no longer trust the cops. It was like they rounded up all the good cops that you knew, and shipped them off somewhere. We never saw any of "our" cops anymore, and any interaction you had with the "new" cops made you feel like a victim.

I left NYC in 78. Now, it seems that cops everywhere want to establish an adversarial relationship with the public. I don't know how it happened, but I really miss the days when the cops were the good guys.
2003-08-20 11:01:30 AM  
I think NYC as well as a few other places are in serious need for a Vigilant uprising. over throw mayors, police and any other asshats that are messing life up for the little people who are forced to pay them for the so called work they are doing.
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