Monday, December 28, 2009

Parking Ticket Blitzes

The Huck behind the Upchuck is quoted in a recent Times-Picayune article about the recent parking ticket injustices that the City's parking ticket gestapo has visited upon the city.

What was left out of the story I told to the reporter, unfortunately, was that the parking ticket gestapo specifically targeted the Palmer Park Arts Market precisely at the very moment that the arts market was ending and the vendors were breaking down their booths and loading their stuff up on their vehicles. It is precisely at this time when vendors need to drive up their vehicles around the park close to where their booths are set up in order to load up their wares and display equipment. It would be as if the parking ticket gestapo showed up around dismissal time at a local school and started ticketing anyone temporarily parked in the streets while waiting to pick up their kids.

Yeah, folks do park illegally during these brief moments of time at the Arts Market (sometimes even double parking with their hazard lights on); but how else do you expect people to unload and re-load their wares and equipment? Is it too much to ask for a smidgeon of common sense and understanding in these moments?

I should also add that the place where I was parked on Carrollton at the Arts Market on Sunday at around 4pm was in a zone where the sign (albeit a faded one) read: "No Parking Anytime: Except on Saturday/Sunday."

I did make the "conspiracy theory minded" comment, but it was more in the context and spirit of a lighthearted joke to the reporter than it comes across in the article. I do believe, though, that just about every person in the city believes that the parking ticket gestapo issues tickets pretty indiscriminately, which leads many to also conclude that the issuing of tickets is not done as a means to enforce the law as a matter of principle or out of a sincere concern for public safety, but primarily as an expedient means to generate revenue for the City when the coffers get low.

Although City of New Orleans Public Works Director Robert Mendoza denies that the end goal of parking ticket issuance is to make money for the city, this direct quotation from Mr. Mendoza seems to undercut this denial:

"Parking enforcement and regulation is about understanding the value of that curb, recognizing it as a city asset and making full use of that asset," he [Mendoza] said.
If thinking about the "value of that curb" as an "asset" to make full use of does not imply an end goal of making money for the city out of this asset, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

rcs said...

If they going to "be that way" about it I wish the city would periodically review the parking restrictions. A lot of spaces in the denser areas (FQ/Marigny/Bywater) have outdated loading/passenger zone designations.