Feb. 25th, 2011

coffeesnob318: (Default)
I'm going to bitch and then let this go.

Yesterday morning, I drove over from my place of work to pick up my good friend Maggie from her place of work and give her a lift home. I was sitting in my car in front of the building, waiting for her to come out, when a university ticket cop walked up to my window and told me that I couldn't park there - that it was a no parking zone. I explained that I was waiting on my friend who was walking out of the building as we spoke and that I would be moving on in less than a minute. He responded that, in the future, I need to make sure that my friend is waiting out front for me when I pull up, or I will have to find a parking spot or receive a citation for the offense.

Not a big deal. It's not unreasonable for a law enforcement official to expect someone to obey the clearly posted "No Parking" sign, right?

Except:

1. So temporary was my planned stay in this spot that my car was still in drive, not park. So technically, I wasn't so much parking as I was driving really, really slowly. I was pausing. As there is no minimum speed limit on that street and there is not a "No Pausing" sign, I was not disobeying any rules, if you want to get technical about it (and I do, especially if I'm being threatened with a citation).

2. The spots in front of residence halls on our campus are constantly used as loading zones. Although they all have signs or are even painted a bright fire lane red, indicating that parking is not allowed, temporary parking is, in fact, allowed in these zones on a daily basis. People are never ticketed or asked to move from these spots unless they full-on park there with no intention of moving their cars for quite a long time. These zones are used by people dropping off and picking up their friends, by vendors (such as the people loading the snack machines or getting the change out of the washers and dryers), by delivery persons, and by university personnel such as maintenance workers. It is rare that I drive up to my workplace and do not see someone parked in what is technically the No Parking Zone. When the campus police visit the building, they even park there themselves. This is the accepted norm, reinforced by law enforcement persons by word and deed, on campus.

3. In fact, in order to get to my car to chastise me, this officer had to walk past the Coca-Cola truck parked behind me. Parked. No driver anywhere in sight. Clearly there for a longer duration than I would be. Yet did this officer see fit to leave a warning citation on the truck's windshield? No. He passed it right up so that he could come tell me to move. I would wager that he didn't leave a warning after Maggie and I drove away either.

It's not that I think that we shouldn't have parking guidelines or that I shouldn't be expected to follow them. I just think that said guidelines should apply to everyone equally. If they want it to be a real no parking zone, they should ticket everyone - without exception - that they catch parking there. If they want the fire lanes to be true fire lanes, then only emergency vehicles currently on emergency missions should be allowed to use them. But this business of treating it like a loading zone for one driver while treating it like a no parking zone for another is bullshit. I do not appreciate being singled out. That's not law enforcement; it's harassment.

Anyway, I do feel a little bad for the guy. I was clearly annoyed and a bit argumentative with him. I look so innocent. He didn't expect a fight when he walked up. Heh.

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coffeesnob318

May 2013

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