Ticket Tidbits: Car Crashes, Anarchists, Booting, Ticketmaster, LA, DC & Midlothian
Each week or two, The Expired Meter offers up a potpourri of ticket and parking related news to keep you up informed and up to date.
ITEM: Meter Repair Man Steals $171,000 In Quarters
It seems the enterprising, but ultimately stupid William Fell, a 61-year old meter repair man for Alexandria, VA, got caught stealing nearly $172,000 dollars in quarters.
It seems that over the past year, Fell had been coming to work early. Very early. About 3-4 AM, well before his 5 AM start time. It turns out he had been relieving parking meters of their booty of quarters before work.
Fell’s supervisor noticed a steep drop in meter revenue, and put two and two together with Fell’s early start times.
The Fox News station in Washington DC has the full story.
ITEM: Parking Meter Injured In Car Crash
It’s really never a good idea to text message while driving as one driver found out the hard way the other day when, while texting they crashed into a building under construction.
No one was injured, thank God.
However, the only casualty was a poor, innocent parking meter just minding it’s own business on Milwaukee Ave.
According to WBBM Newsradio 780, “The two vehicles “by momentum” then traveled into a building under construction at 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave. and also broke a parking meter “right off,” according to the captain.”
ITEM: Parking Meter Used To Smash Window In Pilsen
In an alleged anti-Olympics protest on April 22nd, a bunch of anarchist idiots, thought it would be “cool” to use a parking meter as a weapon to break the windows of a condo development, according to Chicago Indy Media.
“A third window was smashed with a parking meter that bore a message. The message reads “Dear Racist Capitalist Scum, You and your tenants are displacing us. This is our response and it is only the beginning.”
This story demonstrates that parking meters actually have larger intellectual capacity than a violent anarchist.
ITEM: Reaction To Chicago Reader Story
If it’s not in your recycling bin already, in the April 16th issue of the Chicago Reader, following Mick Dumke and Ben Jorvasky’s fantastic expose of the parking meter lease deal, Jorvasky responds to some of the many, many furious readers.
ITEM: Higher Parking Meter Rates In Our Nation’s Capitol
In Washington D.C., they’re facing higher parking meter rates too. According to the Washington Examiner, the DC city council approved the increase in December, and all 16,500 meters should reflect the new, higher rates by next week. $1 an hour meters jump to $2 and all other meters go up by two bits.
ITEM: Ald. Joe Moore Comes Out Against 2 Ticket Booting
ITEM: Suburban Midlothian Offers Ticket Scofflaws Amnesty
Out in suburban Midlothian, they’ve taken a tip from Chicago and are offering all the scurrilous scofflaws out there a parking ticket amnesty.
It starts May 1st and ends October 31st, and according to the Southtown Star newspaper, “Village attorney Dan McGrath said the program will be for those who have accrued the $250 maximum in parking fines and penalties or who have failed to appear in village court on their cases.”
ITEM: Ticketmaster Gives Us The 411 On Broken Meters & Street Cleaning
Ticketmaster, this website’s resident Parking Enforcement Aide (PEA) and expert on ticket writing, reports a slowdown in PEA ticket writing because of the recent increase in broken and vandalized parking meters.
“Due to recent problems with the meters, Department of Revenue management has instructed their PEA’s, when they log in a broken meter into their AutoCITE (the handheld ticket writing computer/printer), they also have to immediately call it into Revenue Security reporting the meter # and address,” explains Ticketmaster. “The good news for the citizens is that broken meters will get reported sooner, and also it will slow PEA’s down.”
And new guidelines in regards to properly providing photo evidence for tickets is having an effect on the speed of street cleaning violations as well.
“With Street Cleaning tickets, management has instructed us to take a photo of the car, and a photo of the sign (even if sign is 1/2 block away) (and if at all possible with car in photo),” says Ticketmaster. “Talk about time consuming. This will be a very long street cleaning season. The good news is that the tickets will be harder to fight. The bad news, depending on where the signs are and how many cars are on a block, it will slow us down.”
Well, I don’t often disagree with Ticketmaster, but isn’t it BAD news that tickets are harder to fight and GOOD news that it’s slowing down ticket writing? Just wondering. Obviously I am biased.
ITEM: Street sweeper camera program on hold?
Sources claim the highly touted street sweeper camera program, where every big blue sweeper would be armed with a camera to photograph license plates of cars violating street cleaning parking bans, is being disbanded.
Allegedly, the six cameras are being removed.
ITEM: Two More Violations Added To PEA’s Repertoire
Ticketmaster also reports that DOR has just updated the violations in the PEA’s handheld computer/printers they issue tickets with.
They’ve added two more violations to the AutoCITE database, one for tinted windows and another for having a car alarm go off for more than 4 minutes.
While both violations have been on the books for a while, up until now, only cops would write those type of violations.
So watch out and get your tint removed and for God’s sake please turn off your alarm–at least during the day! No one wants your crappy AMC Pacer anyway.
ITEM: LA Rushes Toward Parking Meter Privatization
Yesterday, the LA City Council voted nearly unanimously to spend half a million bucks to explore privatizing their 41,000 parking meters ala Chicago according to LA Streets Blog.
About two weeks back, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, proposed the idea in a Budget & Finance Committee Meeting.
Politicians and pundits have been watching what’s been going on here in Chicago very closely.
In fact, a writer from the LA Times, will be on the ground here in Chicago this morning, to spend a few days checking out how our city is handling our meter madness.
Hopefully, if LA moves ahead with privatization, they’ll learn from the many, many, many mistakes Chicago made.