Parking monitors: you reap what you sow

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
narcoleptish
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Parking monitors: you reap what you sow

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:38 pm

I've never had a bad personal experience with madison parking monitors but I've heard many people over the years complain about them and their power-trip attitudes. I always chalked it up to anger over a ticket.

So I'm visiting a friend on the west side today and we're sitting on his porch. A neighbor is getting a delivery of landscaping stuff, on pallets, from a full size semi. The driver parked in the middle of the street, presumably to allow cars on each side and his forklift access to both sides. It's a quiet street and he is not causing any problems. A parking monitor shows up, swaggers out of her vehicle, and proceeds to not yell, but talk loudly, ordering this guy around like an asshole father berating his kid. He appeared to be done and was just going to load the forklift and leave, but she made him park the forklift, move the semi to the side of the road, and then load his forklift. Yeah, the guy was probably in the wrong, parked in the middle and all, but the way she handled it was just rude and wrong. She could have told the guy nicely that you can't do that, load up and move on and park on the side from now on. It could have been a friendly exchange and the five people that I know witnessed it could have had a positive image of law enforcement put into their heads. Instead the other four people are telling their friends to watch out for that big bitch in the white jeep, and I'm writing this.

wolfsbane
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Postby wolfsbane » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:33 am

When are you going to get to the reaping part? Let me help you: "...then the delivery driver grabbed the parking nazi by the collar and proceeded to..." You get the idea. It should come 'round to a concluding sentence like: "I must confess, I had no idea a human body actually contained so much blood."


Seriously though, parking is one of the areas in which we tolerate far too much of a police state. There is little need for parking restrictions or enforcement of any kind, aside from one obvious rule: don't obstruct traffic. I lived in Germany years ago for a while and there were no elaborate parking rules and everything was fine - the sky did not rip open and the streets did not run red with the blood of the innocent. People parked every which way, half up on the curb and whatnot and no one was the worse for wear.

My view is that this is the kind of price we pay for being so averse to paying taxes. The primary purpose behind all this parking nonsense is raising revenue. It can't be about justice or enhancing our quality of life. Instead of everyone just paying their fair share, we have to live with a constant menacing pressure of a surveillance, enforcement, and having to navigate a bewildering array of technicalities, permits, meters, zones and restrictions.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:45 am

I've never heard of a full sized semi parking in the middle of the street for the benefit of other drivers. It must be a ludicrously wide road... usually they double park on one side of the street. Seems a little crazy to me.

narcoleptish
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Postby narcoleptish » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:03 am

It was grand ave by west high school. The driver pulled way past the house he was going to, to a spot with no parked cars, so there was room on both sides. Like I said, he probably could have parked better to start with but traffic came and went, no problem, and the guy worked very fast and was there less than ten minutes. Making residential deliveries in a semi has got to suck. This is probably a worn-out subject, but she really didn't have to get all drill-sergeant on the guy. It's just parking fer chrissakes.

gargantua
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Postby gargantua » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:22 pm

I guess all I can say, or agree with, is that it could have been handled a lot better. Going all Barney Fife, no matter what the situation, says a lot about someone.

So don't be reading about yourself here. Sound familiar? You need to change.

blunt
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Postby blunt » Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:45 pm

I was standing in front of the downtown Giza when the door slammed open and an Asian guy leapt across the sidewalk into the street to beg the meter guy not to write a ticket.
The meter guy: the one with the sunglasses and big game hunter hat.
He instructed the restaurant patron that you can't simply keep feeding the meter over and over. The Asian guy asked him to wait until he asked a friend for some money.
"Can't do it. If you go back inside I'll have to give you a ticket."
The patron bounced up and down in panic.
Meter guy: "Okay, tell you you what. I'll give you a couple quarters, you finish eating. But when I come back, the car better be moved."
Minutes were added, patron smiled thankfully, meter guy waved, I burst into tears.
That is the only nice meter guy I have seen.

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Postby lonesomejohnny » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:02 am

About 4 years ago I was driving down mifflin st, when a parking enforcement Jeep zipped by in reverse, out of control, with no driver. It swerved across the intersection, jumped the curb, knocked over a mailbox and hung up its axle. As the metermaid ran after it I shouted "Hey, you cant park there!" That was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had.

uwstudent
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Postby uwstudent » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:47 am

lonesomejohnny wrote:About 4 years ago I was driving down mifflin st, when a parking enforcement Jeep zipped by in reverse, out of control, with no driver. It swerved across the intersection, jumped the curb, knocked over a mailbox and hung up its axle. As the metermaid ran after it I shouted "Hey, you cant park there!" That was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had.


Right on. Park in a spot for 2 minutes running errands and get a ticket. This town sucks.

Twofer4
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Postby Twofer4 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:32 pm

uwstudent wrote:
lonesomejohnny wrote:About 4 years ago I was driving down mifflin st, when a parking enforcement Jeep zipped by in reverse, out of control, with no driver. It swerved across the intersection, jumped the curb, knocked over a mailbox and hung up its axle. As the metermaid ran after it I shouted "Hey, you cant park there!" That was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had.


Right on. Park in a spot for 2 minutes running errands and get a ticket. This town sucks.


If you need help reading the signs or putting coins in the slot, you could just ask someone - people are pretty friendly here.

Is Madison the only city with parking laws and restrictions? Yes, I too would love to live in a free parking, anywhere anytime, utopia, but as far as relative parking costs go... Madison is tame.

Integral
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Postby Integral » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:49 am

Does anyone know where that money goes? Ostensibly, the revenues generated by the city from parking fees and so forth are used for mutually beneficial projects and programs, such as... um...

The parking situation in this town, definitely, could be much worse, but it's nevertheless frustrating that the city sells a good deal more street parking permits than there are spots available. omg conspiracy

I enjoy wiping the 2-hour-check chalk line (put there by the parking attendant) off of my tires whenever possible.

blunt
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Postby blunt » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:22 am

Not to worry, everyone.
They just installed a parking meter that takes credit cards in front of the Shamrock.
It was really needed since no one is physically able to carry enough change to pay for even a couple of hours.
:roll:

spanky
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Postby spanky » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:30 am

Last edited by spanky on Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ConstantTraveler
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Postby ConstantTraveler » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:00 pm

blunt wrote:Not to worry, everyone.
They just installed a parking meter that takes credit cards in front of the Shamrock.
It was really needed since no one is physically able to carry enough change to pay for even a couple of hours.
:roll:


Dude... I rarely have cash of any kind on me, including coins. We're rapidly moving toward a cashless society. Nearly everything I pay for is with my check card. I've even swiped my card to pay for something under a buck. It might seem silly... but think of the money I'm saving by not driving over to an ATM that won't charge me a fee for using it.

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:04 pm

I remember reading about the credit card meters recently. I believe the article said that you will be charged for the maximum time of the meters (2 hours?) but I'm not sure it those meters also accept coins. If I plan to park for a shorter time, I don't want to pay extra.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:31 pm

ConstantTraveler wrote:Dude... I rarely have cash of any kind on me, including coins.

You can't even be bothered to carry some in your car? I mean, unless you're driving a Model-T, there's probably a compartment dedicated to that purpose somewhere in there. Check your owner's manual.

We're rapidly moving toward a cashless society.

Tell that to the millions of people with shitty credit ratings.


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