Park and (Get Taken for a) Ride

May 11th, 2009

I was going to be a good soldier/grad student and not blog about this, but when I examined my parking ticket from last week I saw how ridiculous it was.

Here’s what happened. I had to go to the Student Health Center to see my counselor (to get the Zoloft for the depression that being a grad student gave me). I also had to get to Ellis Library so I parked at a parking garage between the two buildings, Virginia Avenue Parking Garage. Sidenote: it’s layout is the mirror image of Hitt Street Garage, which totally won’t lead to accidents…. Anyway I figured, like Hitt Street Garage, it will have paid parking on the upper floors. So I drive… and drive… and drive to the top floor. And… nothing. No meters. Well I’m now on the top floor of a six-floor parking garage. There are maybe 10 cars parked up there so they weren’t hurting for spaces. I have a schedule to keep so I decided to park up there.

Obviously this story leads to me seeing the parking guy putting the ticket on my car after returning from the Library to check for just such an occurrence. I laugh it off (not his fault) and drove off to park in the Student Health Center parking.

I get home and read the back of my ticket:

Parking ticket

Sure, $25. I can stand to lose that. Times are tough. The school needs money. But hold on! There are a lot of offenses that are fined less than $25. Let’s see what I could’ve done instead of parking at the top floor of a barren garage blocks away from the Library, and saved a few dollars:

  • I could’ve stayed on the ground floor and parked on the yellow curb outside the garage. $10
  • I could’ve parked directly on the crosswalk leading up to the Library. $15
  • I could’ve parked in the Library’s loading zone. $10
  • I could’ve parked in the official space in front of the Library. $15
  • In a real pinch, I could’ve taken two metered spots. $10
  • I could’ve found a ground level metered spot and not pay. $10
  • I could’ve popped a wheelie, went over a curb, or go reverse all the way there. $25 each
  • I could’ve blocked the street with my car. $25
  • I could’ve willfully disobeyed any Stop, No Parking, Yield, or One Way sign. $15.

But no, I parked blocks away, several stories up, not doing any harm, and got fined $25. Sigh.


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