stupid parking ticket

While Robin was picking me up from work yesterday, waiting in the parking lot right next to the 45th St Plaza, a guy approached the car and knocked on her window at the same time that I arrived at the car. He gave her a parking ticket, but we think it was unjustified.

  • she was there maybe 3 minutes
  • she was in the car
  • the lot was empty

What’s gets me the most is that the guy didn’t have the common courtesy to knock on her window and ask her to move *before* *parking* behind her and writing a ticket. She didn’t notice him parking behind her…

What is the legal definition of “parking?” If she had been driving in circles in the lot, would that have been better? Seems rather ridiculous. What about if she had the car in drive and her foot on the brakes?

The point is, she was *in* the car. We thought parking meant a vehicle left unattended.

She was in the lot because she didn’t want to be in the busy street. It was safer for her to be in the lot.

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We did a little research on the parking ticket and it was issued by a private company called Parking Enforcement Services. Turns out they were taken to court by the state attorney general for misrepresenting their authority and for having an arbitrary repeal process.

They have no interest to serve the public, of course; for them collecting payments from their tickets is their business model, which explains why the shithead didn’t just tell Robin to move first. We don’t trust them to listen to our repeal.

So, I threw the ticket away. Was that dumb?

5 thoughts on “stupid parking ticket”

  1. Makes sense. There’s some danger they might tow you if you park there again. They probably wouldn’t notice though, unless they keep “ticketing” you.

    By the way, one of my HCI colleagues told me today about something that he says their mailing lists are buzzing about. Some senator from Oklahoma made a list of 21 things the government wasted money on last year, and one was a $100k NSF grant for a UC Irvine researcher studying World-of-Warcraft (via Google: Bonnie Nardi). My colleague said she’s well-respected in the community. I assume you heard this too?

  2. Those private parking lots are the worst. I once worked across the street from a private lot, and the full-time attendant had nothing else to do but track how long the cars were there, and be ready to write a ticket the instant any car was over time. It seemed as if he worked on commission. I got a ticket from that lot, and there was no way to appeal it, unlike a city ticket that I could contest in court.

  3. Yeah, that’s totally stupid of them. What Robin did wasn’t parking, it was stopping. And there are often separate signs for the two things.

    You guys are totally in the right here. But throwing the ticket away isn’t IMHO the best way to deal with it. The private company won’t give a crap, that’s true, but you should definitely contact whoever contracted them and complain.

  4. @Aaron: Yes, and in fact, Bonnie and I are in a guild together in WoW. She’s maybe most known for her book Acting with Technology. I haven’t yet got a chance to look at the criticisms of her WoW work, but from what I hear it is definitely controversial. It’s likely (but this is a total guess on my part) that it’s tied to the general debate in education circles about whether experimental studies are the only kinds of research that matters, which is usually tied to school settings and standards-based assessment. Many progressive education researchers give strong preference to the social nature of learning and look at all the settings in which people learn consequential stuff.

    @Ben: According to the law suit from a couple of years ago, Parking Enforcement Services doesn’t actually get contracted by building/lot owners. Rather, they get permission to patrol their lots. But regardless, I should definitely talk to the lot owner about this.

  5. watch for the interest adding up on the ticket if you do not pay. but talking to the owner is a good idea. appeal is another way to make it even.

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