I’m kind of straight edge and when it comes to parking I always try to park legally. One time a couple of years ago, I parked on a quiet side street in Ballard partially blocking a sidewalk. I thought it was okay, but I received a ticket and paid it with only a quiet hmmph. I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience. When I mess up, I don’t mind paying the fine.
But I’ve received four tickets the past two years in Seattle where I come out and go WTF? Nothing’s more frustrating then when you have no clue why you got a ticket. Have you received some of those? I’m pretty sure if I’ve received four, you’ve probably received some too. At a minimum, you have to take photos, write up a statement and send in two letters to contest the tickets. Paying them outright is $47, not cheap. Generally though, even if you have a good point, they still make you pay half the fine.
1. In September 2012, I received a ticket for supposedly overstaying a 2 hour parking zone, but was able to get it dismissed by providing retail receipts from a distant Whole Foods location that showed I could not have been in the spot that long. I had to go back to Whole Foods to get a receipt to prove my innocence.
2. In December 2013, I received a ticket late in the evening under a very dark area in Fremont for being parked in a permit zone whose sign had been vandalized (pictured above, close up with camera flash). I parked a bit away from the sign and simply didn’t see it or I would have parked on the opposite side of the street where there was plenty of parking. Would you have noticed the upper part? They forgave half the cost of the ticket.
3. In January 2013, I received a ticket for parking at the wrong angle on the North side of Cal Anderson park where most of the paint markings have faded to almost nothing. I don’t know how the other cars were aligned when I first parked – it’s possible the lines near me were blocked. Note the truck beside me is also parked on the “line”. I thought I was fine. Again, they forgave half the cost of the ticket.
4. Today, I got a ticket for parking here at the edge of this three way intersection that made me completely go WTF? Can you guess what I was doing wrong? I’m the car behind the motorcycle.
How about now?
I was “blocking unmarked crosswalk” and “blocking north-south sidewalk path” that goes across the street to the front door of the house beside my car. I thought that was just the walkway to the person’s house.
So, am I just stupid? Dimwitted? Should I have my license revoked? Or has the city’s parking enforcement become too overzealous?
Please share your experiences in the comments.