It has been reported that in Boston nearly 72,000 parking citations were dismissed in 2013. A Bostonherald.com article says:
“71,922 of 1.3 million tickets issued in fiscal 2013 were dismissed, and that … the most common reasons were drivers being slapped with violations for parking in handicapped and residential spaces — even though they had valid permits to do so — as well as duplicate tickets issued for the same violation at the same location.”
Nearly everyone sees it as problem that parking enforcers are writing so many unenforceable tickets. The parking clerk’s office is working thousands of hours handling appeals and members of the public are spending thousands of hours making those appeals. According to the article:
“At-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty said he plans to take the issue up with the Boston Transportation Department, along with a host of other complaints — including “convoluted signage” — that he says are hindering businesses and residents.”
While people fume about the situation, Gina Fiandaca, head of Boston Transportation Department’s Office says all is not at it seems. Her office’s policy is to give the public every opportunity possible to appeal tickets.
“If we can dismiss the ticket before the hearing, then we do,” Fiandaca said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that there was an error made and that the ticket was invalidly issued. But there’s a reasonableness assessment, that a reasonable person could probably make that mistake and park somewhere in violation. And, in that case, the hearing is an opportunity to educate the customer.”
That’s a lot of teaching moments costing everybody too much time and money. Sounds like a meet-in-the-middle moment to me.