Monday, June 23, 2008

Busted and Perplexed

Note for non-Portlander: Here in the Rose City, we have these high tech, solar-powered parking meters that spew out receipts that come with adhesive tags. The idea is to post your receipt on the inside of your window with the relevant parking information facing out. The meter reader can then tell that you have paid up and for how long.

Enter the motor scooter (and the motorcycle) and a host of questions, especially after being ticketed. Here, more or less, is my attempt to get my parking fine's worth in information.

After you have read the following, perhaps you can tell me what I'm missing? (I can hear it now: "Nice try, Rick, but...."

June 23, 2008

This evening at 5:34 p.m. my motor scooter was ticketed in Old Town — Citation # HA09245115.

As you know, there is no “inside of the window” on a motor scooter, so I assumed (wrongly, obviously) that since scooters take up a fraction of the space of a car and there is no way to prevent a car (or truck) driver from swiping and reusing a parking receipt posted on the outside, that it would be futile, even absurd, to buy time on the meter (I might as well buy air) and that the meter reader would know that.

Surprise! Officer M. Molinsky (that's the name on the ticket) didn't know that.

With all due respect to Officer Molinsky and the designers of your parking machines, I am enclosing my fine of $24 under protest.

Please advise me how I can display my parking receipt securely on my motor scooter, and, while you are at it, why I have to pay the full rate when I take up one tenth of the space of a car.

Eagerly awaiting your answer, I remain yours truly perplexed.

Labels: , ,


Blogger ALT said...

You can't have it both ways. You can't ride down the middle of the street and expect to get full respect for the space you occupy in a traffic lane and then pull into a parking space and virtually disappear and not have to pay.

Besides, it's all about generating income for the city. If you and I parked in the same space, me with my truck and you with your scooter, the city would expect to see we both paid for the space. That would technically be double dipping on the same space and time, not to mention triple dipping when we both pull out and a third vehicle parks there with time still left on our receipts.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Rick Seifert said...

But when I pull into the parking space, I virtually disappear between spaces. On the road, believe me, I WANT DESPERATELY to be seen. Driving is driving; parking is parking. I pay my registration to drive on the roads.

No one can park in our space (Let's share the space, great idea! Two vehicles/one space. Brilliant!) after we have left because our receipts go with us. Right?

OK, so now answer the question of having no "inside of the window" where I can securely display my receipt. The parking bureau's web site doesn't address the issue.

Eternal optimist that I am, I'm guessing that the powers-that-be will send me at least part of my fine back.

12:53 PM  
Blogger ALT said...

What I'm trying to say is that the scooter has the same rights and responsibilities as a vehicle. On the road or in a parking space, you occupy the same "time and space" unto yourself. Try parking on the sidewalk out of the way. See if they ticket you there? But as long as you park in a designated space, they will expect you to pay. I'm with you and I wish it weren't so, but don't count on them sending you anything back.

As for the sticker on the scooter; this is Portland, home of the honor system and good folk. Who would steal it? I guess you just have to take your chances and keep your copy of the receipt to fight in court when you do get the ticket.

Lastly, my point about double dipping is that in the old days if the meter still had time the next driver got to use it. With these machines, if you leave with 20 minutes left, the next driver pays for the same 20 minutes because they don't have the luxury of adding to your paid 20, thus the city collects double income for the same 20 minutes. The machines are set up to collect per driver, not per time allotment.

8:37 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home