Paid $40 one April day for blocking an auto-body driveway, having stopped there at 1:30 a.m. in a non-attentive stupor. Did not argue with the tow truck asking for $135 to haul the Mazda 8 blocks so the city could both clean Dorchester Street and charge me an additional $40 for forgetting it was Thursday.
But I refuse the notion that I could park in Southie resident parking for 3 weeks with a borrowed Southie resident parking sticker ... only to one random morning find one random meter maid decided that offense was worth another $40 for non-resident parking. Even though my car has been registered to my Southie address since February 2008.
If it wasn't a crime for 3 weeks -- or more to the point, for 13 months -- why was it a crime that Saturday night in February?
(Now I know you're all going to tell me to just get thee down to City Hall and get my own parking sticker. Which I should. But I still find the logic of why I deserve a ticket, I don't know, completely illogical.)
Meanwhile, I parked adjacent to this crosswalk at the corner of I Street & East First on the Saturday night before the St. Patrick's Day parade, along with 6 or 7 others:
You tell me where the No Parking sign is. I had to search it out after I came a week later to move my car and found 3 $15 tickets on the windshield.
(See the light pole? The one that that white pick-up is parked right in front of?)Three weeks ago I composed a letter to the City of Boston Parking Clerk appealing all 4 tickets. Arguing about the resident sticker violation, when I don't have my own resident sticker, was of course going to be a stretch. But I tried to appeal to common sense:
"My resident parking sticker does not match the license plate; however, the vehicle does have a sticker .... valid through 2009 for South Boston. This sticker came from the car's previous owner, also a resident of South Boston, which is the reason I have not replaced it. I am indeed a resident of South Boston and this vehicle is registered to the above-referenced South Boston address. To that end, I have enclosed a copy of my Motor Excise Bill to the City of Boston issued on 2/4/09 that proves this fact."Then, based on the photo above (which I enclosed) and the argument below, the request to waive the second batch of tickets would be a no-brainer:
"I note again the inconsistent enforcement. The car was parked for 3 days and nights before receiving a ticket, and did not receive any the last 2 days it was there. Why would some officers choose this to be a no-parking situation and others not? I would suggest it is due to the same confusion I experienced: the sign is simply not clear that the area is a no-parking zone."So yesterday I heard back from the City of Boston with near-identical rejection form letters:
Additionally, the resident parking violation is no longer eligible for an appeal hearing since ACCORDING TO THE BOSTON TRANSPORTATION RULES AND REGULATIONS AN APPEAL MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN 45 DAYS OF THE FIRST MAIL NOTICE.
THE OFFICE OF THE PARKING CLERK IS INFORMING YOU THAT THE TICKET(S) BELOW CANNOT BE DISMISSED FOR THE REASONS STATED IN YOUR CORRESPONDENCE. YOU DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL THIS TICKET AT A HEARING. HOWEVER, HEARING OFFICERS CANNOT DISMISS VALIDLY ISSUED TICKET(S) WHICH CONFORM TO PARKING RULES AND REGULATIONS.
The impersonal all-caps printing of these notices rankled me more than the notices themselves. The 45-day period, arbitrarily assigned. The blanket rejection of reasoned logic with, most likely, no consideration or appreciation for situation.
I thought back to growing up in North Dakota where no one ever bothers you for simply parking on the street near where you live.