Thursday, April 12, 2007

law & order: parking meter violation unit

As I've now just barely passed over that two year mark since my move to DC from Miami, I was just thinking the other day that I'd somehow managed to escape the clutches of DC's obsessive parking Nazis. I know it helps when the bulk of that time was spent with only my two feet as my means of transportation, but that's just a technicality... anyhow, although I now have a car, for the most part it looks pretty parked out on the street. I don't drive it to work and I rarely attempt to park it on the street in the city (that parallel parking resultion? yeah... still to come to fruition).

Last Friday I came home and saw what I thought was another flyer on my windshield. I was a little perplexed, since I did not know what on earth I could have done wrong. Only thing I could think was a violation of the "snow emergency route", but this was before the minute dusting of snow, so yeah - even in DC, that wouldn't be rationale behind the ticket.

I was almost laughing with Sassy when I saw that the ticket was for not displaying the zone sticker... the sticker clearly and appropriately already displayed in my window. I think perhaps instead of trying to get a measly $50 out of me, they should take the same out of their pocket and invest in a new set of spectacles for the individual in hot pursuit to find someone to ticket. The back provided info on contesting (which, duh, I will be doing) and mentioned to be sure to include any photos, descriptions, and/or diagrams with the ticket when submitting. Oh yeah - it's on.

One of the things I'm most proud of from my college days was my parking violation triumph versus the school. I should put it on my resume. Basically what happened was that the parking fines went up significantly at MSU and there was one place I had been parking for a year and half. I came back one day to a ticket. No sign had been posted making it a no parking zone and I thought it was convenient that they decided to pull this as soon as the increase went into effect. It's sort of like this video on You Tube... it's like you want to say, um no?

Photos, descriptions, and diagrams were definitely involved when I contested the ticket. It was a work of art. It was known that it was a waste of effort to fight the tickets since you just ultimately ended up paying the ticket fine plus the court fees, but I thought I had a shot - and I won.

So guess it's time for round two here in the District. Oh and if anyone wants to make a donation to buy the ticket officers some new glasses, I'm happy to include them in along with my masterpiece.

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  • The term "parking Nazi" reminds of the civilian one we had in our neighborhood growing up. If you were parked too high up on the sidewalk he/she would put a flyer on your windshield with a diagram showing how to properly park. (I agree it's annoying when people are way up there, but the flyer would show up even if you were barely beyond that first line.) At least there was no fine. I consider this an example of bored people in Palo Alto not having real problems in their lives. We never did figure out who it was.

    Not quite the same as your situation, but thought I'd share :)

    By Blogger Jane, At April 12, 2007  

  • How irritating is that?! Now you'll have to waste some of your valuable time fighting that ticket. I bet he or she was just pissed they failed the test to be a real police officer and got booted to traffic patrol.

    By Blogger GreenEggsSamDC, At April 12, 2007  

  • Jane: That's great! Gotta love the neighborhood enforcement crew.

    Sam: Yeah! Maybe as a member of traffic patrol you don't get those coveted Dunkin Donuts breaks...

    By Blogger LJ, At April 12, 2007  

  • Same thing has happened to me recently, once in November and once in March. I am in Zone 6, FWIW. The parking cops obviously don't do a good job looking for the parking permit on the windshield, which I just renewed for $150 or so for two years.

    The first time I (successfully)contested the ticket in-person, and the second time via mail.

    I wonder if DC is trying to raise extra $$$ or something.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 12, 2007  

  • I'm zone 6 too... interesting. Good to hear you didn't have any issues. I don't get it... when the window's clear of any possible obstructions, just makes no sense (other than like you said a fundraiser)

    By Blogger LJ, At April 12, 2007  

  • Oh, my gosh. That's hilarious. Go, you! No need to give up your hard-earned money if you're clearly in the right, that's for sure. :)

    By Anonymous zandria, At April 13, 2007  

  • I had a few ticket fighting experiences. I won the parking ticket in Arlington, the red light in DC, but lost the parking in DC (even though I didn't deserve the ticket). Goog luck fighting though :)

    By Blogger HomeImprovementNinja, At April 13, 2007  

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