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Bizarre parking regulation ...(15 posts)

Bizarre parking regulation ...Humma Hah
Aug 30, 2001 8:19 PM
... This actually is cycling related, in an off-hand kind of way.

I got a ticket on my pickup truck yesterday. The violation: parking on a city street, outside my home, for more than 48 hours. I've been a resident here for 19 years and had never heard of such a regulation.

But, there it was, on the books, passed in 1965 with most of the other city parking regs.

What makes this cycling related, is I've taken great pride in NOT driving! I've been taking the bike instead, wherever possible. Now, it turns out, not driving is illegal here!

I've got a friend on city council, and I'm going to approach him about getting this law revoked. I understand some need to eliminate abandoned vehicles, but this law is positively anti-ecology.
re: Bizarre parking regulation ...Me Dot Org
Aug 30, 2001 8:56 PM
I know you're back east now (Virginia?) but I'm sure you remember Hillsborough from your Santa Cruz daze.

For those who are not from Northern California, Hillsborough is a toney old-money town south of San Francisco. (Was the home of Bing Crosby, William Randolf Hearst..)

In the residential areas of Hillsborough, it is illegal to park your car on the street overnight.

I've always wanted to see an episode of "Cops" in Hillsborough, which would consist of policemen picking up newspapers off the porches of people who are out of town...

But you're right - being penalized for parking your car seems a bit ridiculous. I'm sure the intention is to reduce abandoned vehicles, but there has to be a better way...
re: Bizarre parking regulation ...peloton
Aug 30, 2001 9:16 PM
I don't know what to say. That is a ridiculous ticket. Good luck protesting it, and I hope you can do something about that law. Abandoned cars are bad. Driving too much is wasteful. Where is the line?
re: Bizarre parking regulation ...badabill
Aug 30, 2001 9:44 PM
Got a ticket on my bike a couple of months ago for rolling thru a stop sign. It was my fault, I was in a residencial neighborhood with no traffic in sight. Rolled thru at 5mph, The CHP was parked 50 feet up the side street. he pulled me over and wrote the ticket, all the while giving me a lecture about how bike riders need to follow the traffic laws. Cost me $77. Tickets are a big source of revenue for local govt. and they seem to be writing them every chance they can.
re: Bizarre parking regulation ...Tylerman
Aug 31, 2001 3:38 AM
It's always more useful to propose alternatives than eliminations, so try these. It's more in our homeowner's regulations than city ordinance, but in our neighborhood it is illegal to park a car under a cover on the street, expired tags on a parked car (they'll ticket ya first then tow ya within 24 hours, I know), perform any sort of maintenance on your vehicle (or anyone elses) in the street, including washing, or to store an inoperable vehicle in plain sight, even in your own driveway. This is all intended to keep abandoned vehicles away, and the homeowners association is pretty good about enforcing it. But they are fair rules, seemingly more so than what you are up against.
We've got those, too ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 5:55 AM
Right under the 48-Hour Law is the Dirty Car Law, prohibiting "washing, polishing, or greasing" your car on any city street. Washing on your property is also prohibited if the water runs across a sidewalk or into the street without first going thru a settling basin.

Next is the "no commercial vehicles parked in a residential area" law. I saw no tickets on the row of commercial trucks parked within 200 ft of my non-commercial pickup.

I do live in a homeowners association of townhomes, but the parking lot is inadequate, especially since several units went rental, and have numerous adults living in, each with their own car. Thus, most of us park one of our vehicles on the adjacent street. The HOA regulations are as, or more, restrictive than the city's, except for the 48-hour rule and washing the vehicle.
You bad.MB1
Aug 31, 2001 5:17 AM
We sometimes let our car sit unused for several weeks at a time (I think we last bought gas in early/mid July). Miss M takes pride in not using the car. We have to have a permit from the city to park on the street, perhaps that would work in your area.

Otherwise just get out there and move it a few feet every couple of days you scufflaw you. ;-)
abandoned vehiclesDog
Aug 31, 2001 5:40 AM
I think I understand the reasoning behind the law. Abandoned, broken down vehicles on the road are unsightly, and the keep the street sweeper from doing its job. It's pretty ugly driving through a neighborhood with a bunch of beaters and motorhomes all over the street.

Do you have a driveway? I can see where those without driveways really don't have a choice, but otherwise, it seems that would be the place for the truck. There's always the front lawn, too :-)

I'm not sure what a city could do to avoid the junk car problem and not inadvertently cite some "well intentioned" vehicle owners, too. That's the solution you need.

Or, you could just move it a few feet once a day. Just put it in neutral and push it. Don't even need to start it. Think of it as strength work.

Most of the time the cops don't cite these kinds of things unless a neighbor is complaining. Likely some disgruntled 80 year old person who sits at home all day. Maybe time to suck up to the neighbors.

But, all in all I think your best strategy is to just move the truck once day. You then comply with the law. The law is designed to eliminate junk vehicles - those that can move. Yours is moveable.

Dog
Here's the deal ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 6:05 AM
... we have a driveway and 1 reserved parking place in the lot, but three vehicles: Reliant, Explorer, and the Dakota pickup. The lot is usually over-full due to some of the townhomes being rentals, so we typically park one on the street. I need all 3: the Reliant is cheap, comfortable, and reliable. The SUV is 4WD, for the cabin, and I need to haul stuff to the cabin in the truck (mulch, gravel, big stuff).

Abandoned means left for a couple of months, with the tires flat. We recently had one towed, also had expired tags from another jurisdiction. The owner of that may have complained about ours. Odds are good he owns one of the row of commercial vehicles that park a few hundred feet up the street -- there's a city ordinance against parking those in a residential neighborhood, too. I'm reluctant to complain (I feel sorry for the owners, who can't park in the HOA lot, either). They do block visibility of oncoming cars at the parking lot entrance.

Abandoned does not mean 48 hours. Abandoned means 2 months and other signs of neglect. In our town (and many others, I suspect), going on a short vacation without taking your car is illegal.

This is a law which defies all environmental sensitivity. It was merely silly in 1965. It is irresponsible now. Like Miss M, and many others here, I take great pride in leaving the dino-burners parked as much as possible, and will go days without using them.
"Dino-burners" I like it! (How clean is your car?) nmMB1
Aug 31, 2001 6:18 AM
change the law?Dog
Aug 31, 2001 12:03 PM
Why don't you lobby your city council member to change the ordinance to 7 days or something like that? Then be prepared to show up at a council meeting with a few dozen supporters and all of you ask to speak on the subject. That's how you get things changed.

Of course, some might alternatively argue that the defiance of environmental sensitivity is having 3 gas guzzlers in one family. I wouldn't bring that up. Two Geo Metro's would be far more sensitive. :-)

Oh, is it possible to "lease" another parking space in your comlex? That may be part of the reason for the law - to force property owners to provide sufficient off street parking. Just a thought.

Dog
As a matter of fact ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 12:31 PM
I once got drafted as a precinct co-chairman during a gubernatorial campaign about 15 years ago. The other guy and I were picked out of the blue, absolutely new to politics, but we could both hand out flyers OK.

I thought it was a very educational task (people who like sausage and the law should never watch either one being made), but went no further with it. A couple of years later, Zirk ran for city council, won, and has served ever since. I intend to approach him about getting it changed.

We live in a townhome development. Parking is limited, but complies with city codes. On-street parking is not fully utilized, however.

Parking in the development has gotten worse due to many of the homes going rental, with too many working adults with cars living in each one. I believe there's a law on the books against this, but it is not enforced: someone tried to pass such a law in one community recently, and was blasted as being "anti-hispanic".

3 cars was a good plan when I was in CA. One for me (typically getting less miles than the bikes, mostly just for buying groceries and going to the odd fun run now and then). 2 for my wife (they're getting a little older, occasionally need to go to the shop, so having a backup makes sense). 3 cars for 2 adults is not excessive, we've always done it, and parking was never a serious problem. It still isn't. Why they chose to enforce this law now is a mystery.
OK, Abe...Dog
Aug 31, 2001 12:57 PM
"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." Abe Lincoln

Dog
re: Bizarre parking regulation ...bikedodger
Aug 31, 2001 7:40 AM
The city council here recently passed a no parking on the street of over 48 hours law that has since seen changed to 72 hours. It is routinely violated by many people who take week long trips.

The weirdest laws they have here are the no dandelions allowed in yards and the trash containers have be be removed from the street by 7PM the day of trash pickup (the only council person who voted against that one said he doesn't get home from work by 7PM).

With all the laws we have, I figure that 90% or more of the population are lawbreakers!
Traffic enforcement 101DINOSAUR
Aug 31, 2001 9:55 AM
The reason behind the 48 hr parking limitation is for abandoned vehicles. In Ca most counties have a 72 hour regulation. First the car must be tagged, then a 72 hour time period must elapse before it can be towed or cited. Nine times out of ten, the reason for a car being cited or towed is because of a citizens complaint, most likely a neighbor.

Also there is a great misconception about revenue from traffic citations. The truth is traffic citations generate very little revenue. The amount of the bail is divided among the city, county and state. Also it takes a lot of hands to process a citation. It probably cost more to process the citation than the imposed fine. For instance in Ca the CHP gets absolutely zip out of money generated for citations. The only money that goes to the CHP is for registration violations. A portion of the registration fee supports the CHP salary. Think the CHP writes a lot of registration tickets?

If you want to know the real reason behind traffic enforcement, it's statistics. When it comes time for a pay raise a ploy used is to indicate by stats that X number of citations/arrests was increased from the previous year.

Also a lot of traffic enforcment is mandated by the fed's.
The state must show, for instance, a compliance in safety restraint regulations. A couple of years ago in Ca they were aiming for a 90% seat belt compliance. I remember a 20% seat belt citation ratio. That means at the end of the month when you tally up all your citations 20% of you citations should be safety restraint violations. It's like big brother. Either comply with the fed's or they will cut off the federal money for road improvement.

Lord help us if they ever impose the pay for performance for state workers. That means in Ca, a state traffic officer pay will be based on his work, work= number of citations he issues. Guys would probably be writing their own mothers.

It's all numbers, stats, ratios. Being a traffic cop is sort of like being an accountant. You need a calculator to sort everything out.

Traffic enforcement has changed over the past twenty five years. It used to be for safety, now it's just a numbers game. The cop is caught in the middle 9 times out of 10 he really doesn't want to write a ticket, but if he doesn't he might be out of a job. They on the other hand, in most cases anyway, want to be fair and write quality tickets so they don't look like idiots in court. The judges learn after awhile which officers write flaky tickets and which officers write the good ones.

All said and done, the Ca freeways resemble a war zone. You seldom see a CHP on the freeways. They are under staffed and over worked. The chances of winning the lottery is better than receiving a speeding ticket, unless,(look above you), it's the aircraft, which costs a small fortune to finance. But the big wigs need an air taxi to whip them around the state.

Oh well, enough rants, got the flu, can't ride today.

I could probably write a book on this subject. I guess the bottom line is, obey the laws and you won't have to worry about it, and sometimes things arn't as they appear. and yes some laws are flaky, but that's why they have the court system.

Good grief I am glad to be retired and not have to deal with this stuff anymore!