Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PSA: Parking Tickets are Money

Parking tickets are so frustrating. It literally feels like you're throwing money away, flushing cash down the toilet or lighting dollar bills on fire -- only less gratifying in a potlatch kind of way.

Parking citations are bogus. While supposedly created to protect and serve local residents, parking tickets equal municipal revenue. The money you lose to parking tickets is actually planned for in city budgets. The Boston suburb I live in is projecting just under nine million dollars in parking tickets and surcharges alone. They expect and plan to make money off of you forgetting it's a tow day or not feeding the meter in time!

And nothing is worse than getting a ticket you didn't actually deserve. It never fails. Regardless of what's posted, if you park at an out of order meter, you get a ticket. Then, depending on where you got the ticket, disputing it could take more time than it would be worth to fight it. It's a lose / lose situation. You're either losing your time resolving the issue or your parting with your money out of convenience. Talk about frustrating.

It all raises some questions. How many parking tickets does a meter maid (attendant) have to write in order to pay for his / her job? Who is dictating how often streets are cleaned? Is it the towing company, the street-sweeper or the parking office? Forgive the cynicism, but someone needs to throw the bullshit flag. Parking citations are not helping the residents of my block; in fact, it's basically an extra tax that many people actually budget and project to spend!

As a driver, the worst kind of parking tickets are the ones that don't get written... Give the jerk that's double parked (and blocking traffic in three directions because they couldn't be bothered to parallel park) a ticket. Serve and protect--stay out of my wallet.

Images by Eye Captain and Sean Future respectively.

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