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May
06

Wrong Direction Parking

Parking Ticket_Page_2

So, I was in Cambridge, MA last week and parked in a public lot while attending the TechStars Boston Mentor Dinner (really great group, BTW).  I searched the 10,000 little signs around the lot to find out if I needed to fill a meter somewhere and felt fairly secure that I didn’t when I found an obscured sign that stated that sacrifices to the parking lot gods were not required after 6pm – it was 5:58.

Imagine my dismay then, when I came back to my car later that evening to find this parking ticket on the car.  Not because I neglected to fill a meter, but because I backed into a parking space (see arrows).  I suppose I can dream of reasons why this is a rule, most of them having to do with bad drivers, but I can’t think of any logical reason why this should be a problem (Massachusetts requires front license plates, so that’s not it).

I had to hunt around the parking lot to find the small sign that told parkers that they had to park “head on” only.  It was there, but it wasn’t obvious.  It was posted and I was, therefore, wrong.  I just think it’s absurd – both the rule and the poor posting of it.

Anyone know why this type of parking restriction is mandated?

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 May 6th, 2009  
 Will  
 Misc Thoughts, Stuff with a Motor  
   
 25 Comments

25 Responses to Wrong Direction Parking

  1. I’m going to go with “Just because…”

  2. I’m going to go with “Just because…”

  3. Not all cars have front and back plates. If you have an older green lettering license plate you don’t need a front plate as well.

  4. Not all cars have front and back plates. If you have an older green lettering license plate you don’t need a front plate as well.

  5. If memory serves, it was largely because most cars had rear-wheel drive, and therefore a car that had backed into a perpendicular parking space couldn’t be towed easily. Never mind that times have changed, but the laws haven’t.

    Oddly enough, the spaces around Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington require that you back in. It may be to facilitate getting out in the snarl of DC traffic.

  6. If memory serves, it was largely because most cars had rear-wheel drive, and therefore a car that had backed into a perpendicular parking space couldn’t be towed easily. Never mind that times have changed, but the laws haven’t.

    Oddly enough, the spaces around Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington require that you back in. It may be to facilitate getting out in the snarl of DC traffic.

  7. To make money?

    If I was going to invent a stupid reason, it’s because at some point, you had to “pay and display” a little piece of paper on the dash. Unless everyone parked the same way, the person checking the slips would have to actually _walk_ around the vehicle looking for the slip.

    Then add in people looking for ways to improve productivity, and you have this type of thing appear during union negotiations “It’s so stupid, they’ll never accept it, but they’ll give us money to get rid of it”. Except no one objected because the buyoff money was too high.

    Then it just becomes revenue generating, and it’s too expensive to get rid of.

    It’s just like the grocery store that outsources it’s parking enforcement to another company – it’s revenue generating for the enforcer, and the store can attempt to claim that it has nothing to do with them. Grr.

  8. Nick,

    Perfect! I think that’s the answer 🙂

  9. Nick,

    Perfect! I think that’s the answer 🙂

  10. Ron,

    Yeah, about 4% of all vehicles have the old, green, rear-only plates. It could be a legacy thing. If that’s the case, though, it’s about time to adjust, don’t you think?

  11. Ron,

    Yeah, about 4% of all vehicles have the old, green, rear-only plates. It could be a legacy thing. If that’s the case, though, it’s about time to adjust, don’t you think?

  12. CBB,

    *Require* that you back in. That’s scary. I know many people who, if forced to back in, would surely damage any and all other vehicles around them.

  13. CBB,

    *Require* that you back in. That’s scary. I know many people who, if forced to back in, would surely damage any and all other vehicles around them.

  14. Jason,

    Interesting thought about the slip on the dash as proof of payment. That makes loads of sense. I’m sure you’re right, there is something here about revenue generation that I’m missing. That *has* to be it.

    Someone else pointed out that I got this ticket after 6pm – when I didn’t even have to pay for the space any more. So, they cruise the lots to find other offenses, even when the meters are no longer operational. I think this backs up your revenue generating response.

  15. Jason,

    Interesting thought about the slip on the dash as proof of payment. That makes loads of sense. I’m sure you’re right, there is something here about revenue generation that I’m missing. That *has* to be it.

    Someone else pointed out that I got this ticket after 6pm – when I didn’t even have to pay for the space any more. So, they cruise the lots to find other offenses, even when the meters are no longer operational. I think this backs up your revenue generating response.

  16. Will,
    You needed to have that car that Philip Garner built, I think he took a 59 Impala or perhaps a big Chrysler and turned the body around on its frame (back when cars had a separate body and frame). He then proceded to drive it around all over the place. To the casual observer it looked like a guy was driving a car in reverse while sitting in the back seat. Anyway, this would be a good way to test the laws in this parking lot. He (Garner)has a couple of books out, probably all out of print, “Better Living Catalog” and “Utopia or Bust”, circa early 80’s. There are a couple of fun car projects he did, one was the insperation for the knotty pine contact paper covered 67 cougar project my college buddy and I did back in 84.

    If one had the time, a car like this would be the way to test the limits of the stupid law. Park one way one day and get a ticket, park the other way in and get a ticket and then take both tickets to court and state they can’t have it both ways, of course this would take time and all one would probably achieve is getting a thrid ticket for driving a vehicle that breaks the Mass Motor Vehicle code….

  17. Will,
    You needed to have that car that Philip Garner built, I think he took a 59 Impala or perhaps a big Chrysler and turned the body around on its frame (back when cars had a separate body and frame). He then proceded to drive it around all over the place. To the casual observer it looked like a guy was driving a car in reverse while sitting in the back seat. Anyway, this would be a good way to test the laws in this parking lot. He (Garner)has a couple of books out, probably all out of print, “Better Living Catalog” and “Utopia or Bust”, circa early 80’s. There are a couple of fun car projects he did, one was the insperation for the knotty pine contact paper covered 67 cougar project my college buddy and I did back in 84.

    If one had the time, a car like this would be the way to test the limits of the stupid law. Park one way one day and get a ticket, park the other way in and get a ticket and then take both tickets to court and state they can’t have it both ways, of course this would take time and all one would probably achieve is getting a thrid ticket for driving a vehicle that breaks the Mass Motor Vehicle code….

  18. I just ransomed my from Logan Airport’s parking where the securinazis also insist on head-on parking. The parking receipt had my car’s location printed on it. Note that the car is registered in my wife’s name, which is different from my credit card.

    I’m guessing that they photo my license when I take my parking ticket, and scan the parked cars (semi-automatically??) to know where they are, and how long they’ve been there. It seems a logical post-911 security thing: car thieves have used parking lots to let “hot” cars (and no, I don’t mean Hyundai-s) cool down until they can be moved.

  19. I just ransomed my from Logan Airport’s parking where the securinazis also insist on head-on parking. The parking receipt had my car’s location printed on it. Note that the car is registered in my wife’s name, which is different from my credit card.

    I’m guessing that they photo my license when I take my parking ticket, and scan the parked cars (semi-automatically??) to know where they are, and how long they’ve been there. It seems a logical post-911 security thing: car thieves have used parking lots to let “hot” cars (and no, I don’t mean Hyundai-s) cool down until they can be moved.

  20. Hmmm. Interesting. I had no idea that kinda thing was happening. I’m so naive. Glad I’m paying someone to invade my privacy look after me.

  21. Hmmm. Interesting. I had no idea that kinda thing was happening. I’m so naive. Glad I’m paying someone to invade my privacy look after me.

  22. Seriously, I have no problem with that level of supervision going on. It doesn’t bother me one bit and I’m sure adds layers of protection. Especially at an airport. In Central Square, though, I dunno 🙂

  23. Seriously, I have no problem with that level of supervision going on. It doesn’t bother me one bit and I’m sure adds layers of protection. Especially at an airport. In Central Square, though, I dunno 🙂

  24. I just got the same exact ticket last week-end, on a parking lot too 🙁 .
    Not very expensive but extremely annoying. I feel like being robbed and there is nothing I can do about it .

    • Sorry to hear about that. In my dream world, you could challenge it in court, but that would just be a stupid waste of time.

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