Contesting a parking ticket - my car is diplomatic

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I got a parking ticket the other day. Around the corner from us on 15th Street is the back of the Mexican Embassy. There is some parking there reserved from 7-4 weekdays for “Diplomatic cars”. We came home after 4, couldn’t find parking, and so we parked there. I meant to move the car, but I forgot. I am, of course, contesting the ticket.

To whom it may concern: I am writing to contest a parking ticket, citation #[unimportant], which I received on August 7th, 2009, for “DISOBYNG OFFICL SIGN”. The sign reads, “Diplomatic cars only” between 7AM and 4PM. Princeton’s online WordNet defines diplomacy as “subtly skillful handling of a situation” (http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=diplomacy). It then follows that a diplomatic car would be one which displays or performs this skillful handling. As such, it is difficult to argue that my car, a 2006 Mazda 3, is not diplomatic. There are only two situations in which the car ever finds itself – parked or being driven. It takes no skill to remain parked, and therefore the definition easily applies to any car. And anyone who has ever driven a 2006 Mazda 3, especially the manual transmission, can attest that the car is very skillful. It handles very well, accelerates quickly, and gets good gas mileage. At no time does the parking sign mention the need for any sort of credentials identifying the car as diplomatic, nor does it require the owner of the car to possess credentials. Therefore, by the definition above, my car is in fact diplomatic, and not in violation of the parking restrictions. Thank you very much for your time. Me

The sign is vague. Who’s to say what “diplomatic” means? Unfortunately, in this case, it’s the soul-less, humor-less parking adjudicator who will decide. I can’t say I like my chances …

Posted in: complaint , dc , harvardstreet , parking