Covid has prompted more people in NYC to drive instead of taking mass transit, which is why the sign RESERVED PARKING FOR PASTOR caught my eye.
There so many more cars circulating that the New York Times recently compared the battle for parking to the “Hunger Games.”
It turns out NYC was the first major city in America to extend parking privileges to the clergy. It allows them to park in spaces that would otherwise garner a ticket.
The city council passed the rule in 1996 after being lobbied to extend a perk already available to some doctors, teachers, politicians and reporters.
You can imagine how it could create issues. In Harlem, some city blocks have as many as five churches.
There are some rules. Each church is eligible for up to three parking permits. The clergy members have to work at least 20 hours a week. They also need to show a drivers license, insurance and a deed to the property.
Most churches create signs they pull out to the curb to reserve a spot.
I found it amusing that one church felt the need to differentiate between the parking place for the pastor and the spot for the assistant pastor.
I couldn’t help but wondering, WWJD.