Driver vs. Parking Ticket

This job is costing me too much.

I live in the middle of the city where parking is stupidly expensive. Normally, that makes no difference because we’re fortunate enough to have a double parking-pad: one space for our car, one for whatever I’m reviewing at any time. A huge wooden door slides from the fence edging our property; this door hangs from an immovable crossbar around seven feet up.

Last week, first time ever, I got a vehicle that wouldn’t fit. With its safari roof-wrack, it’s simply too tall.

There is some ‘free’ street parking but it’s limited to an hour at a time and only during certain hours of the day. (You’d be forgiven for questioning whether the city permits free parking only to lure desperate motorists who misunderstand the intentionally confounding signs, take their chances, then receive a fine.)

So I’ve been babysitting this huge machine which requires hourly attention daily to keep it from being ticketed.

I’m failing.

My office is in the same residential downtown neighbourhood. I’ve been setting the alarm on my phone, then scuttling out hourly to shift the car up or down the street before the auxiliary police (aka bastards) nail us.

Wait one hour, then repeat. Whoops, gotta go. Back in ten.

Great for the concentration, that.

Between 6 p.m. and 11:59 p.m., you’re safe. But after midnight if you don’t have a street sticker, you’re targeted.

So I park illegally at nights on the private school property down the road. I surreptitiously drop it there after 10 p.m., then rise early to remove it before 7 a.m.. Thus begins anew the auto homelessness – an arduous day of shifting this huge vehicle a few metres every hour.

I got it on Wednesday and still managed to win two parking tickets before sunset on Thursday, costing $80 for sitting still. The weekend was worry-free because we left town. I put 1,000km on it for another $80.

As always, not being able to move the car in the city is frustrating and expensive. Movement equals freedom and is almost free.

Image courtesy of metrix x on flickr

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