Below I commented on an enforcement officer who gave a couple of parking tickets I thought were unwarranted, and noted that there is a reason why people hate parking enforcement. One MTJ says that they “expected better of me.”
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love this industry and that I am extremely saddened that parking has such a bad reputation. I’m not sure what MJT found distasteful about my remarks, but I can guess that folks who head parking enforcement find it difficult to separate themselves from the police that track down drug dealers, rapists, and murderers. We need to remind ourselves that the folks who transgress with parking aren’t ax murderers.
There were two cases I commented in the blog. In one, a crew was actively working on a building front and had parked their vehicle in front. It was a red zone but not one that required access (fire, emergency vehicles, etc). I don’t know how many times I have seen construction crews parked in red zones. It was obvious they were in the process of working on the project. Their truck was marked as a construction vehicle and the back was open and tools were spread around. They were given a citation.
In the second case, an automobile delivery company was delivering cars. The driver had just pulled one off the truck. It was stopped in the street (on the side, not blocking traffic), still running, and he had gone back to secure his truck. The enforcement officer ran up and gave the car a ticket. (BTW it was the same enforcement officer and the incidents were about two minutes apart.)
With the tens of thousands of cars that are in violation of some parking rule at any given time in the city of Los Angeles, it seemed to me that writing these two tickets was abusive.
This could have been a “PR” moment for the parking business. The officer could have gone to the driver in both cases, pointed out the problem, and told them it would be great if they parked their car properly. (OK, maybe recorded their license numbers for future reference.) In the case of the construction crew, there are ways to get permits for such activity and she could have explained how to do that if they were going to be continuing to work in the area.
There would have been stories told for months about how well the parking enforcement folks treated these two, and how considerate they were. Instead exactly the opposite took place.
Perhaps MTJ expects better of me, but I can’t see how allowing officers to make on the spot decisions to give folks a “pass” can destroy the underpinnings of the republic. Some good training and supervision can help ensure that such a policy isn’t abused, and our relationship with the community would be much better. Gee, maybe people would put an extra quarter in the meter or take a bit more care in parking in the future. Who knows?