The only thing worse than getting a parking ticket is getting a parking ticket that was issued just a few minutes before you arrived back to your car. The only thing worse than that is walking back to your car and from a block away seeing the DPT three-wheeler with its yellow flashing lights double-parked right next to your car. That's when your fight or flight mechanism switches instinctively to fight.
No matter what you are carrying, what shoes you are wearing, with whom you are walking, or how cool, calm, and collected your image is, the autonomic nervous system response for all humans in this situation is to: Pause, yell, "No! Wait! Stop!" and then immediately begin sprinting directly toward your car as though it were on fire.
Is there a way that we could instantly change 77 years of human evolutionary behavior (since that fateful day in 1935 when the first parking meter was installed)? I believe there is.
What if there was a driver friendly ordinance passed forbidding parking officers from issuing tickets if the driver is present? Parking enforcement agencies were originally implemented to create parking turnover to help merchants. Only once has it been publicly admitted that parking enforcement is used as a source of revenue. But even with revenue dependency not being admitted to openly, it is necessary to create turnover. So, if a person arrives at their vehicle at anytime during the writing of a parking citation, the citation should not be issued. The goal of the citation is to create turnover and if you are there to get in your car, make a parking spot available, there should no longer be a need for this negatively based behavior modification tool.
That's crazy. No city would ever consider legislation like that would they?
Yes. In fact they would. An ordinance has been sent to the Berkeley City Council to vote on.
Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington said about the proposed ordinance, "We're trying to have a kinder, gentler parking policy. If you show up to move your car, that should be good enough. I don't think we should be punishing you for that."
Looking a few steps ahead of opportunistic scofflaws, he then said, "If you park in a disabled space or at a bus stop, I have no mercy. Then there shouldn't be kinder or gentler anything," he said. "But if you're at a meter and you show up, I think it's fair to wipe out the ticket."
One cannot argue that it's just "Bezerkely" marching to its own drum, because the same legislation has been proposed by the Oakland City Council. But Oakland didn't stop there and has taken it even a step further. They are also proposing granting five-minute grace periods for all drivers parked at kiosk type spaces.
One cannot make the argument that it would reduce revenue. The impact on revenue would be small. It behooves our beloved administrators to consider such an act of enlightened public relations. Imagine that, people feeling like the government is on their side. It would be an act of goodwill that's guaranteed to put a huge smile on people's faces when they think about their local parking enforcement agencies and city council members. When has that sentence ever been written? (I just googled the quote...no results found).
A few thousand squeaky wheels will get some attention. Please feel free to comment, and pass the idea on to your friends. To quickly and easily pass this idea or any idea on to the Mayor, click here.
To read more preposterous notions of blasphemy and heresy, click here.