Sunday, October 28, 2007

Observations on Parking Tickets

I get many parking tickets. This comes from growing up in an area where you could park on the street 24/7, but in my adult life having to drive to areas with things like alternate side of the street parking.

First a definition of alternate side of the street parking. Basically in New York City, neighboring Jersey City, and I'm sure many other urban areas, certain areas where you can park on the street have signs where once or twice a week you cannot park on that side of the street for a certain time period. The times are arranged so that if you cannot part your car on one side of the street today, you cannot park your car on the other side tomorrow. Hence the name alternate side of the street parking.

The reason for this is to designate a time period that the street cleaning trucks can clean the street. The penalty for failing to move your car is of course a parking ticket. Also, if they actually clean the streets that day, you get a sticker on your windshield letting you know that the streets are dirty because of you. In addition to all of this are of course areas you just cannot park during weekday daytime hours because the extra lane is needing for moving cars or the area is designated no standing except for commercial vehicles. Violating those signs means getting towed.

I've received several parking tickets, and gotten towed once. I've never gotten a sticker on my windshield, but did once watch a street cleaning truck drive around my car and quickly moved it before someone came to apply the sticker and write the ticket. I've even gotten towed once. These I can all attest to personal irresponsibility However, there is one ticket I attribute to personnel responsibility.

I was hanging out at a bar that was then called Central Ales in Valley Stream. The location of the building is shown below.

View Larger Map

While I was there, a couple of friends I don't see often showed up. They said they would give me a ride home and my friend the manager said he would give me a ride to my car in the AM. So I did a few shots of Jagar and hung out for a few hours before being dropped off at my residence.

The next day I saw a pink slip on my windshield. It said my crime was parking between the hours of 03:30 and 05:30. The merits of such a law on quality of life is questionable to me. Then again I find the concept of wanting to forbid parking on the street for the sake of forbiding it quite elitist. Generally it means people can park on the street to visit homes and residences, but need to secure a private parking spot if they reside there. Of course, the way the law is written, the main culprits are those that frequent bars in the area, and the law has the unintended consequence of encouraging drunk driving. Now in addition to having to go back and get my car the next day, and pay for a cab, I have to pay a ticket if I decide that I had too much to drink and want to do the right thing.

I never paid the ticket, but that is another story. I should have fought the ticket, because I feel so strongly about the law being wrong in this instance that I should have made my feelings public record.

No comments: