Coming back from New York City over the weekend, I was flabbergasted by the people who navigate Manhattan by vehicle on a daily basis. How? Why? The ability to thread your car through traffic seemingly requires Miyagi-chopsticking-flies-precision. One thing exacerbating the congestion are the oversized vehicles that block the already-narrow Manhattan streets, which in addition to slowing your day down, also contribute to air-pollution problems.
In February 2018, the city of New York’s Environmental Protection department unveiled a program where citizens can file a complaint against idling trucks and buses. The program requires you to send in time-stamped videos or photographs of the offending vehicle, and successful complaints can net the citizen a 25% cut of the $350 ticket (repeat offenders may be fined $2,000). The program was spurred by the activism of one Upper West Side man whose crusade against idling vehicles became the subject of a 2012 documentary:
As it turns out, some New Yorkers are making good coin on this program. Of course, the venerable New York Post describes the actions of these citizen complainers as “ratting out,” and is telling you this story in the most New York Postian way possible: snitching on the supposed snitchers (of course, the names are all public record).
A story published in Monday’s edition names three New Yorkers who’s netted the most from this program, one of whom is George Pakenham, the activist who’s the subject of the documentary mentioned above. The other two—who made $4,912.80 and $4,600 respectively from 47 complaints each—were publicly named, and would not comment to the Post.
Read more about this in the New York Post—a paper so distinguished it once wrongly accused on its front page two innocent bystanders as the Boston bombing suspects—right here.