I’ve written about my frustration with our fine city’s parking control and the overpriced, frequently broken meters in Hollywood before. But now, after my experience two mornings ago on Hollywood Blvd, I’m beginning to think that there is something more sinister going on. Is it possible that parking control officers are giving tickets to cars parked legally, with the required amount of money in the meter for the time, figuring that people will just pay the $50 fine? Is this a new fund-raising racket that’s on the down low in City Hall?
Because as we all know, paying a ticket is way easier than contesting a ticket. It takes far far more time in frustration, just getting someone on the phone and sometimes going to a courthouse to physically contest it, than forking over your credit card. It’s a no win situation and after one try at it, most people will just give up and pay the damn fifty bucks. I know I did last time. After several fruitless tries, too much time on the phone, I gave up and paid.
But then, it happened again. Monday, I stopped on Hollywood Blvd around 11:20 am. I put in 8 quarters for 20 minutes… giving myself an extra 40 minutes. I was gone 17 minutes. When I returned I had a ticket. Fifty bucks. The ticket was issued seven minutes after I put in my money. When I checked the meter, I still had lots of time left. You can imagine my frustration. It’s as if the city just wants to milk the public, good will be damned. They know good and well that most people will just pay. I immediately started down the road of thinking about how much time I was going to have to devote to this.
This time I don’t want to just give up and pay. Yes, I will contact my council person (Thanks Eric Garcetti, for your offer last time to get in touch, I was working on a show and slammed, so after a phone call to parking control, I just paid).
But really. What the hell is going on here? Do these guys get bonuses for volume? Do they check the meter at all before issuing tickets? But most of all I was just disappointed. What kind of city has LA turned into? Grrrrrrr.