Having a car in the city is a huge liability. Parking tickets, speeding tickets, accidents, and scratches are just some of the reasons that you might want to think twice about owning a car in DC. In the first 12 months that I lived in DC, I got none of those. In the last 3 months I've hit for the cycle--multiple times. Oh how my fortunes have changed.
I'd like to explore DC's main source of income: parking tickets. Knowing their joy in handing out tickets, I have become very cautious when parking my car. I carefully read and reread all the posted signs--I walk 30 ft in each direction to make sure that I'm not missing any phantom signs.
The other day I parked my car, for less than 24 hours, in a legal spot and then got a ticket for a temporary sign that was put up after I had already parked. That cannot be legal. Last night I parked in a spot that had been legal for the last 12 months. But a couple of weeks ago someone added a homemade arrow to the "No parking sign" that originally only pointed to the right--now it also pointed to the left (if you click the picture above, you'll see what i'm talking about). It was a questionable spot, so I looked at the other two signs (pictured below) to see if they corroborated this new restriction.They did not--according to the other two signs my spot was still 100% legal. So I figured the added sticker to the other sign was vandalism--or a funny practical joke. It turns out it was neither. This morning I walked to my car and saw that familiar pink slip. Under the comments for the ticket it stated that the signs were "Clearly posted." Clearly posted? No one should have to write a dissertation--weighing one restriction against another--to figure out if a parking spot is legal or not.
I was going to write about how I'm helping ease DC out of this recession. But the more I write, the more I realize that this is no joking matter. It's literally highway robbery.