Baby You Can Park My Car
By Lauren Norton
I was back in Midtown less than 24 hours when I got my first parking ticket of 2015. As often happens, the lovely ladies at Capital Nails convinced me to upgrade my $12 manicure into a full blown spa treatment. The hour on the meter ticked by while my hands were embalmed in hot wax; my feet polished with gobs of green exfoliant. One woman pressed heated stones into my calves while another fanned me using a large palm frond. It was heaven, especially after a long haul flight, and an even longer haul of cleaning my house after a month long absence. The spell was broken when a woman halfway through her shellac started shrieking–”Hey! Subaru lady! You’re getting a ticket!”
The upside of getting a ticket outside Capital Nails is having a chorus of Midtowners yelling at the parking attendant with you, in unison. It’s like the world’s angriest a capella group. Righteous babe ire aside, I was bummed to be getting yet another ticket in Midtown, just a month after paying off a backlog of fines and vowing never again to be in this position.
I’ve gotten parking tickets on street cleaning days. Tickets on frosty mornings when the condensation made my dashboard permit “not visible” enough for the same attendant who checks it every day. I’ve gotten tickets while parked in my alley to unload moving boxes into my garage. Friends and family who have come to visit have been fined for staying longer than two hours. Once I called a contractor about fixing my roof, and he said he didn’t work on Midtown houses anymore because of the parking tickets. I can’t say that Santa visited me on December 25th, but the City of Sacramento left me something on my windshield to let me know I was on their naughty list. That’s right, I got a parking ticket on CHRISTMAS DAY.
It’s not just living here that’s a constant battle with the three wheeled enforcers, it’s like we’re punished for working and shopping here too. I understand there is a need to keep traffic moving in our great little city, but the current system is hurting us as a community. Recently I was sitting within ear shot of a first date at Hook and Ladder. You could tell the evening was going really well–lots of smiling and blushing and compliments–when, half way through the main course, the guy had to leave to re-park his car. It was awful to watch his dinner, and his girl, going cold. That date fail might have cost us the next Mayor of Sacramento, or a really good American Idol contestant. We’ll never know folks.
Okay, so anyone can bitch and moan about the parking situation, what about coming up with an alternative? Well here it is folks. It’s called, The Honor System. We tear down all of those ridiculous, complicated signs telling you how to park at 5am during a full moon, and replace them with an easy to remember, city-wide, honor code. How about free, three hour parking, with designated paid all-day lots for folks who need more time? We get rid of the enforcers, and instead, we pledge to be responsible, considerate citizens who won’t hog a good parking space all day when we have the option to walk or ride a bike or just go home already. We will spend more time and money patronizing local business without fear of the $50 parking ticket. And, finally, we will all hold hands in a great circle around the Capitol building and sing kumbaya while passing motorists beep their horns in gratitude.Editor’s Note: When we discuss issues that effect the city of Sacramento we want to hear your opinion. What are some solutions you’d propose to solve Sacramento’s parking issues or do you think our parking system works as is? Tell us in the comments section!