I’m speechless, but not really. Here’s the scoop – The Mayor of Port Jefferson on Long Island in New York has ordered the enforcement officers to not ticket any cars in the city’s lots if there are fewer than 30% of the spaces filled. She issued the order 90 days ago. Read about it here
So let’s see – we have a parking ordinance, meters, signs and the like, but we aren’t going to enforce the ordinance when the officers “feel” that the lots are less than one third full. Wow it’s like the lotto. If you drive in and think that the number is down, hell, forget the meter. You aren’t going to get a ticket. On the other hand, if you arrived to an empty lot at 10:45, and the local fish and chips shop decided to give away two for one and opens at 11.. You could get a ticket because the lot filled after you parked. The Mayor says she needs the officers to do other things.
Now the city did vote to have free parking during the “off” season and are putting signs up to make that official. In the mean time, as the local paper put it well “If you like to gamble and are good at estimating percentages, you might be able to save some coin when you park in Port Jefferson.”
I think that what is going to happen here is that people will simply understand that they don’t have to pay and when the city decides they need some money they will start to enforce again and the local folks will complain to high heaven. This mayor could find herself in a real parking pickle about three weeks after the legal ‘free’ parking goes away and tourists flock back to the area.
Inconsistency in enforcement is the beginning of parking disaster. This mayor needs to talk to Sandra in Whistler, BC to find out just how pissed off people can get when you mess with their parking.
Maybe if she had just kept it a secret. Although we all know that a secret is no longer a secret when you tell one person, and she had to tell the officers. Where do you think the Times Beacon Record heard this little tidbit? I wonder what other brainstorms they have going in the inner workings of the Port Jefferson city council.
Hat Tip: Dan K