I’ve had two parking ticket experiences that have struck me as violations of civil morality. Parking tickets are a serious annoyance but these two went beyond those bounds.
The first occurred in Anchorage in early summer. I was driving a rental car and enjoying a late evening at a club with friends. I was also enjoying the daytime sun at midnight. The sky gets a little darker at midnight, like a half hour before sunset in my San Francisco 38th parallel home. I came out of the club at 2PM to find an expensive parking ticket on the car. In Anchorage during the daylight hours the parking meters run 24 hours a day. I was offended since I never guessed that that was a rule. The clue to the ticketing officer, that I didn't know the rules, should have been my rental car. ‘Pissed’ is an understatement.
It is funny now.
The second case was in Berkeley California. I was going to a meeting in the evening. I parked the car at a meter exactly 2 minutes before the meter pay requirement expired at 6PM, and didn’t put any coins in. When I returned I had a parking ticket, written for the 1 minute I hadn’t paid for. That one still pisses me off.
On this issue San Francisco had done one good thing. We now have parking cards for use in feeding meters, in lieu of coins. I never had enough change for parking meters and always got ticketed. I buy the parking cards $200 at a time and always put in money for more time than I need. Never get parking tickets now. One good thing, as I said.