July 30th, 2003
|01:18 pm - Somerville Parking Dept. to Mr. D. Spatchel: "Tain't No Thang, We Still Cool"|
I just dodged a $250 bullet in the form of Seven Phantom Parking Tickets.
I knew about four and I knew about them waaaaay after the fact (never saw a single one on my windshield but boy did I get the mailings 30 days later) but I was very polite and called the nice Parking Department man Sir (it is a good rule to be polite to state employees, especially ones who not only have to listen to Really Angry People all the livelong day, but can do magic things with a keyboard and some function keys as well) and he explained to me what the tickets were for and I promised it wouldn't happen again and he removed them from the record. Now it's off to the RMV to say "Hey, renew my registration so I can still drive, and I shall give you this fine ice cream cone. It is chocolate."
And just for the record: I've never heard of anybody else ever getting ticketed for having an old Cambridge parking permit on their car while legally garaged in Somerville, but there you go. (And the old permit's been removed since the beginning of this month so if we get any MORE phantom parking tickets, there will be tur'ble trouble.)
I'm glad they were tossed.
I've never heard of anyone being ticketed for that, either.
The officer must've thought your car looked at him funny.
Well, with a smashed-up headlight, perhaps he thought it was winking at him.
It's been mentioned to me that the recent budget crisis has made the officers go absolutely ticket-crazy in the hopes that if they blanket the city with enough tickets, most people won't bother contesting them and so the city gets, as someone from the Simpsons once said, "mazuma in the bank." I mean, my appearance contesting these tickets took maybe 10 minutes, max, and he even took off the "Parked There For 48 Continuous Hours" ticket that I was willing to pay as a conciliatory gesture. (Note I did not actually mention this out loud at any point; I was saving it as a last-ditch effort at bargaining if we reached that.)
Yeah, I've never been ticketed for 48 hour-parking, either, but it was on the record.
That one I do know people who have gotten. Many, actually. The so-called "storage law". Enforced especially if someone calls to complain about your car sitting somewhere for a suspiciously long time. But it is true, you aren't supposed to park anywhere longer than two days, in Cambridge or Somerville. Pain in the ass for non-car-commuters. I really wish it were 7 days. I have no idea what the arguments are for making it so short.
Repeat after me: "Everything involving wheels on any level whatsoever in the Commonwealth is horribly, horribly corrupt."