parking authorities can kiss my ass

August 8th, 2007

There was a time when you could park for free in the city. Obviously not in the main street, but there were areas that if you knew about them you could still park pretty close to the center. But today it's basically impossible. They've covered every cm2.

It's not even that parking costs money. Because sometimes it costs an arm and a leg, but let's leave that aside for the moment. It's how incredibly redundant it is. What exactly are we paying for? It's a completely pointless tax. People have cars so obviously they need to park. Do we park less because it costs money? I doubt it, I don't see rows of free parking spaces. In fact, often it's hard to find a spot even when you're paying. And it's getting worse. So what is it for? No one is prevented from buying a car, so what the hell do they expect us to do with them? If they want to reduce traffic then have some guts and actually make inner cities pedestrian-only.

And paid parking is an incredible annoyance, because it's not enforced either. It's an idiotic system. Basically you park and it's up to you. If you don't buy a ticket, there's every possibility that you will get away with it. Or you could be slapped with a fine. And the fines are obscene amounts of money. So people speculate - they don't pay when they're parking for a short time, or they only pay for as much as they think they need. Of course, the second your ticket expires the humble civil servant of a parking attendant is in his right to slap that insane fine on you.

I could understand paid parking if it were a fee for something, like some expense they had to cover. Some of those things do make sense, like a toll to pay for a new bridge or tunnel. But parking fees are completely pointless. And to realize that, you only have to see how it works. First of all, they have never ever said that the fees go to some special important cause. It is merely money into the city coffers. And just how sensibly cities spend their money I think we've all witnessed. Secondly, it's not enforced at all. You can get away with not paying if you're lucky or you know a certain place isn't monitored as much. In fact, some places are crawling with parking attendants while some aren't. Again this says that it's not an organized process, it's just a contest to write the most fines they possibly can.

And finally, there is no regulation as to how much you pay, how much parking costs or what exactly it is you pay for. Parking fees vary wildly, and without any semblance of order. There is never a reason given as to why the fee has to be increased, it just goes up. And if you ask yourself what it is you're paying for, there is no obvious answer. If you park for 10 minutes and you pay for 5, you pay half price. But if you park for 30 minutes and it turns out you only need 10, you're royally ripped off. The whole system is rigged so that they get as much as they can from you. To be safe, you should pay for more than you need, just in case you need more time. So you end up with a spare 20 minutes. Now someone else comes around and takes your spot. If parking fees were some kind of real estate payment, that person would now get 20 minutes free parking. Because the spot has already been paid for. But no, it doesn't work that way, the new guy has to pay for the time I've already covered. So the payment isn't actually for anything, a product or service that costs a certain amount, it's just paying for the sake of paying.

It would make a lot more sense if you were somehow charged when pulling out (like in a parking garage). And then just paying for the time you parked. But you can't do this, can you? If you didn't pay and the parking attendant is writing you a ticket just as you get back, he won't accept that you pay for the time you used (which would be sensible), he will give you the fine anyway. Why? Because it's only paying for the sake of paying, and the more they can squeeze you for the happier the leeches are.

And what about parking attendants? This is the definition of redundant. It almost sounds like a scheme the government introduced to lower unemployment. An utterly pointless job that is entirely self serving. Think how depressed those people must be on the weekends. Here they landed a job and there isn't a single person in the world who thinks what they're doing is even a tiny bit useful. And yet it's our taxes that are paying their wages, isn't that amazing?

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3 Responses to "parking authorities can kiss my ass"

  1. erik says:

    That was fun :D

  2. jwickers says:

    So you did get a fine right ? :D

    Well the system would make sense if the city used that money to develop ... public transport. Then you wouldn't need to use your car, nor pay parking fees .. or fines.

  3. numerodix says:

    Nope, my only safe spot left in the city was occupied and I had to cave in and pay for parking.

    I did get a fine once, but that was years ago.