As you may know, I’ve been running an experiment. I have been either not paying my on street parking or overstaying when I have been paying. The experiment is to prove that less than 10% of parking violations are ever ticketed. I will admit I have had a few close calls, one being a few weeks ago when I pulled out of an expired meter just as the officer rounded the corner, ink dripping out of his printer.
However, it all caught up with me on Saturday. The city of Beverly Hills (where, by the way, I am interviewing tomorrow their parking folks) cited me for overstaying a meter. I did in fact put money in it but stayed about seven minutes past the due time. The ticket was written three minutes after it clicked to “Validation.” A few hours later, R and I went to see “Sherlock Holmes” in downtown Culver City. I parked in a slot in the garage that said “one hour only.” The Words “I’m sure they don’t check” ringing in my ears.” When we returned three hours later, with a validated ticket I pulled on entrance, there was a citation on my car. Yes, they got me. Culver City does a good job “chalking”. Good for them. And good for Beverly Hills, too. I may have taken a while for them to get me, but they did.
I have paid both $50 fines and but still feel good about the experiment. In Beverly Hills I park on the street where I got the ticket twice a week and have done so for the past year. (Gym). This is the first citation I have received even though there has not been a time that I wasn’t in some type of violation when I returned to my car.
As for my former home Culver City, I’m not quite so bad. I park there about three times a month, and when I’m in the garage its usually after six (no time limit then.) However on street I have parked probably a dozen times in the last year and in virtually every case, the meter was in violation when I returned to the car. I would suggest that this still falls well within my 10% rule.
I understand that enforcement isn’t easy. Huge turnover, thick traffic, the vagaries of the law (is there a handicapped placard or not), and frankly often the kindness of the enforcement staff. However, if we are ever to get parking under control, we have to figure out how to deal with scofflaws like me.
In Beverly Hills, my gym has a deal with a lot that is in fact closer to their door than where I usually park on street and the cost is less than an hour’s parking on street. I’m just too lazy to use it. In Culver City, all I had to do was drive up one story and I would have had unlimited parking. Once again, lazy tells the tale.
My guess is that BH has had its last chance at me, the $50 fine most likely has me moving into the lot or filling the meter with enough quarters (or in this case using my credit card) to cover the hour and 15 minutes I’m away. As for Culver City – the fine folks at IPD designed wonderful parking garages a half a block from the restaurants and theaters and certainly I can make it up one flight of stairs,,, and I will.