I’m glad to see that I am not the only one who has parking issues.
A few years back I was visiting a professor at West Chester University in order to set up a working relationship on of all things – weather. We thought we could partner and do some interesting things when it came to the weather.
At the time of my visit, I parked probably more than 50 yards away from any other car. I didn’t block anyone’s driveway and I made sure I was not violating any other ordinance. However, the street was labeled in one area as permit parking. The area in which I had driven to didn’t seem to be labeled the same way.
In my car on the dash was a West Chester University visitors pass I had from a previous visit a week or so earlier, and two different press placards making sure they were visible and obvious to anyone looking.
My friends with the West Chester parking posse nailed me with a ticket. Of course knowing the way I am naturally the ticket was contested. And dismissed.
But the point to this today is that according to a story on Philly.com, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was in Philly Monday night speaking to the Philadelphia Lawyers Chapter of The Federalist Society. He also was signing copies of his book at the Union League. Here’s a link to the story: http://bit.ly/XjWG0j
Scott Bomboy of the Constitution Daily, reports that Scalia’s car was ticketed by a member of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. His vehicle got the ticket in spite of a Philadelphia official police business placard on the dash.
Apparently the PPA operates on the same rules as their friends in West Chester.
Now I’m not saying that either I or Scalia are so special that we should not go by the same rules as everyone else. But there have been times when my role as a member of the media SHOULD buy me some special consideration.
Picture this: I am on my way to the scene of an accident, fire or other police-related incident. I don’t have the right to just park in someone’s driveway and there’s not public parking everywhere I go. So if I park my car off the side of the road, flashers on and press placards visible to anyone looking, shouldn’t that suffice?
As a member of the media, shouldn’t I at least receive that kind of break?
As to Justice Scalia, c’mon folks, the guy (who I obviously have never met or care about in the least) IS a Supreme Court justice. Do we really want the judge wandering the streets of Philly looking for a public parking lot? Did he have a driver? If so, then maybe he should have been dropped off and had his driver search for a place to park.
Even so, I think the point here is that the PPA like their West Chester counterparts are ignoring placards and or indications that the vehicle is on official business. We can argue all day long about whether speaking to a bunch of lawyers constitutes “official business.” But the police placard should be respected.
I believe the parking posses need to bring it down a notch. But obviously the thinking is ticket now, think about it later. After all, isn’t it easier to just pay the ticket and not bother with the rest of the nonsense? How many people are like me, willing to fight to the death over $20?
Look, if someone (even me) is ILLEGALLY parked, so be it. If my meter has been expired for a little longer than 60 seconds, fine, toss a ticket my way.
But I really have to say that it’s just bogus that the parking posses get to thumb their noses at official parking placards – just because they can.
It won’t change, though.
One of these days I swear I am going to follow a few choice members of the West Chester posse, see where they’re parking THEIR vehicles and see if they’re legal. I’m betting not all of them are playing by the same rules – which is quite unfair.
We’ll see. Maybe sometime soon…
— Andy Hachadorian