It turns out that I just won round one. Round two has now begun.
Yesterday, I looked out the window and noticed a parking ticket on the Disaster Magnet. Since my car was parked a few spaces away, I went to check mine.
Sure enough, there was the ticket. $30 for “P003 RESIDENTIAL PARKING”. Do you know what they’ve done? Sometime over the last week or so, they replaced all the parking signs on our street. They now state that a zone 1 sticker is required. No one notified me that there were new parking restrictions. I don’t know if the city is legally obligated to tell me, but they should be. Now, the DC DOT website still lists our block as un-zoned. I don’t know whether it just hasn’t been updated, or if they put up the wrong sign. In any event, at 9AM on the button I’m calling the DMV to find out what’s going on. I left a note on my car to hopefully prevent another ticket. I politely stated that I live on the block, I became aware of the new parking restriction last night, and I’m going to the DMV today. I have no idea if it will help.
So, let’s summarize my tickets since I moved here. The first I paid. It was for violating a temporary ‘No Parking’ sign. I thought I was past the area where parking was restricted, but there’s apparently some rule that you must be a certain distance away from the posted sign that isn’t printed on the sign. Maybe I could have contested it, I don’t know. My second was the $100 ticket for failure to register that I got while I had a temporary permit from the police. That one is still being contested. I think we’re going to call soon to see the status because we haven’t heard anything. The third was $30 for not having a residential permit, which we contested and won. And now this one, the fourth. All of these tickets, mind you, are for parking within 100 feet of my front door.
I hear rumors that the DC government brings in a huge portion of its revenue from parking tickets. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m starting to feel a little persecuted. We have tons of people living in Maryland and Virginia who drive past Metro into the city for work. Shift the tax burden to them! Shift the burden to the giant beaurocracy of the federal government! Shift it anywhere but your residents, who already pay extremely high tax rates.
Anyway, I will keep you updated. I don’t think I’ve adequately expressed how infuriating this is. It’s going to make me even madder if my suspicions prove true - that this is a sign mistake, not a change in parking rules. I was told by the DMV that it requires approval from a ridiculous percentage of the residents of a street to zone an un-zoned street, and no one knocked on my door.
If I ran for mayor with a platform of, “Let the Marylanders and Virginians pay the parking tickets”, do you think I’d win? I’d vote for me.