Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not today, Parking Man. Not today.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--Parking in my area sucks. I don't live in an apartment complex with underground parking, so it's street parking for me. Permitted street parking, that is. And while that's all well and good*, I don't currently have a permit for Sandy and can't get one until I pay off the $90,000 in parking tickets I've accumulated (exaggerated, lest you think I'm that much of a scofflaw). So, Sandy and I are left to find parking on the metered street one block over, which is only free between 8pm and 8am Monday through Saturday, and 8pm to 11am on Sundays. It's worked out okay because I have to be at work by 8am and generally stay late at work. Even if I have to feed the meter for that last hour, it's cheaper than a $55 parking ticket.

But sometimes (read: lots of times) I'm running late in the morning and don't get out of there until 8:15 or so. Yes, that makes me late for work. Yes, it's surprising I haven't been fired yet. Let's focus on the important part here--parking tickets. I know the city is poor, but I swear, the Parking Enforcement people are sitting there with a countdown clock just waiting for 8am so they can swoop in and ticket cars. I have tickets that were written at 8:03am. Okay, yes, I know. The parking is clearly posted, but geez, can you give us a 5-minute grace period? I am at my self-imposed limit of parking tickets. I cannot get another one or I'll never pay them off and that will hold up registration renewal in December.

So, today, I woke up at 11:05am. Five minutes late!!! Holy Crap!! At $55 a ticket, that's $11 a minute. $0.18 per second. I threw on a pair of shorts, slipped into my Keds and ran down the stairs--which caused me to realize that I hadn't bothered with a bra. Pausing momentarily to decide whether to run back upstairs to holster the girls, I continued on my way (girls untethered). Turning the corner, I saw Sandy was still sans ticket. Phew! But, as I began walking up the street, I noticed the Parking Enforcement car had just pulled in behind her, the officer inside busy getting his ticket machine ready. I quickened my pace and hit the alarm button so he would see the lights flash. I got to the door and smiled ever so sweetly, so innocently at Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer, who promptly slammed his half-opened car door with pure disappointment on his face. As I was hooking my seat belt, I glanced in the rear view in time to see him whip a u-turn and drive off at a speed way above the posted limit, clearly peeved. Ha ha! I win this time, City of Los Angeles. I may still owe $90,000 in parking tickets, but for now it's not $90,055.

*Except this week, when the city has decided it's going to repave my street and the one perpendicular to it, and had posted special signs that read "no parking 6am to 6pm"--6am!!!! Even if I had a parking sticker, I would not be off the street at 6am. What the hell? Also, these signs have been posted for over a week with nary a sign of road construction. An addendum sign was posted saying it would start on September 23rd, but our roads remain construction free. Today, I did notice a large back-hoe (hee hee, I said ho) parked at the top of the street so maybe tomorrow--maybe someday.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Clearly the city of Santa Monica is equally financially strapped because those Mo-Fos ticketed me $61 for being in a two-hour parking space for 1 hour and 55 minutes (I know this because I set my iPhone to remind me). And when I tried to refute it, they said I didn't have any proof. As if the white dot on my tire is proof enough that I was there for over 2 hours. Whatev...