Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Saving a Buck Can Cost $37

What do you get when you cross a notorious tight wad with an un-metered parking spot in DC?

Yep, It’s Me.

You see fine readers, instead of just parking in a lot this morning when I got in at 6am (which would have only run me $13 for the day) I thought, “hey if I have to pay for parking at the game tonight anyway, I should try to find one of my ‘secret’ spots on the street to save a few bucks”.

Well I found a great one. Right on the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and 18th Street, NW. 2-Hour parking (unmetered) from 7am-6pm. So I left the car at 6am and went for a run, shower, and then came back to toss my bag in the back before heading over to Starbucks for a free pastry today.

Upon my return I actually noticed two papers folded under the wiper blade. Low-and-behold, one of DC’s Finest had tagged me for two violations in less then 3 minutes. Ticket #1 was at 619am for being too close to an intersection and Ticket #2 was at 622am for obstructing a cross walk. Over $70 in fines right there.

But wait....These pictures (thanks for the cam phone Les) show another story.
The spot was perfectly legal and I was actually not in the crosswalk (I was less then 25 feet from the intersection but so were the other two cars behind me who were also in legal spots and not ticketed).

So off to the office I went and quickly merged pictures and words into a contesting my tickets form and then off to the fine people working in DC’s Traffic Adjudication Office. Here’s where the costs start. The fee to mail the letter, certify it’s delivery, and get signature confirmation (not taking any chances that they “lost” it) runs $6.

I head back to the office and come back around 12pm to check on the car. Sitting right there on the windshield is another ticket for “staying in spot over stated time period” i.e: I was there more then two hours. The kicker here: according to the ticket, it was the same officer who tagged me at 6am....what a day. Cost: $25

Jumping in the car and circling the area around my office I found a metered spot and popped the car in there. After feeding the meter twice I’m now set until the end of my work day. Cost: $6

Total Cost to Park at Work: $37 (assuming my earlier fines are cleared)
Total Cost for a Garage for the Day: $13
Seeing me turn beet red: Priceless!

1 comment:

Jason said...

you seems to be too close to the intersection - the like you are before is the crosswalk (that one should be free) but the one under the car is the stop line.... you should owe that one.