Thursday, June 4, 2009

Things You Don't Want Your Neighbors to Know

#143. Sometimes, you don't pay your parking tickets.

(and since the neighbors now know, why not the internets?)

So, yep, I've (and yes, it's all me) acquired a few parking tickets in the Subaru. But over the past two years or so. Just yesterday parking enforcement was driving through the neighborhood and Rich asked what was on their car and I told him they have cameras now on the roof, and they drive slowly along taping all the plate numbers and looking up info about the cars. And here's the evidence today of how well that system works - I got snagged. And look, you can't live in a crowded city without getting tickets every once in a while. You should, however, pay the few you get promptly. That's my deficiency.

The city used to be incredibly efficient when it came to tickets - it was the only part of the city that worked. But over the past years as the city has improved, parking enforcement hasn't been as important, but they are ramping back up operations. I was pleased to see, on the notice, that unlike the last time I was booted (in 1994! I don't make a habit of getting booted), instead of treking to the DMV, you can now pay your ticket online or by phone, according to the handy dandy info included with the boot. So I walked inside and pulled up the website - except it couldn't be found. The form had the wrong website address! After searching around a bit I found enough info to suggest you could not pay online. But there was a phone number! So I called, and went through an incredibly detailed menu, paid the outstanding tickets, and the boot was removed within the two hour window as promised.

Again, I was booted back in the day - 1994, I think. I had gone to the Eastern Shore for some reason and stayed over, then got up early and drove straight to work, parking on the street. Came out to feed the meter and found the boot, with detailed instructions of how to get to the one place you had to go to pay the fine, which was not conveniently located. A Metro ride, a bus transfer, and a long walk later, the fine was paid and I was free to go. I remember the actually pretty nice woman had told me the boot would be off before I made it back to the car. So after backtracking the tedious route, got back to the car exhausted, ready to just get home after a too-long day - to find I had gotten a ticket inbetween the time the boot was removed and I arrived back at the car! Ticket writers back in the day were ferocious. So I'm standing there, feeling sorry for myself, after the long trek, early morning, and now an additional ticket to add insult to injury, and I look through the paperwork and they actually had a section that said if you were ticketed after the boot was removed you were not liable, but had to appeal by going in person to the same inaccessible office in some 5-minute window on a Thursday that fell on a full moon or some other such hoop jumping instructions.

So I just paid the fine. By mail. On time.


The Lowe said...

They probably eased up over the years as the speed cameras were introduced and Rob's payments have kept the dept. afloat.

Laurie said...

Jeez...we know how they're making up their budget deficit!

Mom said...

Sorry to see and hear that! But at least you are "0", no debts! I bet it feels much better!

Jen said...

How much do you want to bet that Dad flipped when he read that you didn't attempt to rid yourself of your fine...? Ha. I think this runs in the family... When I went to court for my 1st speeding ticket ever, I got PBR (yay!) then walked out to our favorite car, which some moron had parked in the "STATE TROOPERS ONLY" parking spot (in her fear of being late for her court appearance!), which resulted in a $15 parking ticket. Awesome day.