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Friday, September 3, 2010

Portland parking playtime

A long-time reader wrote us the other evening as follows:

On our way back from dinner tonight, we found a ticketed car share vehicle (for being over the line -- when it clearly wasn't). The ticket read 11 AM, and we took the pictures at 6 PM -- maybe it was over the line earlier in the day? I can't understand the comments the officer made. I wonder who pays the $34 on a car share?

Anyway, we had some of the neighbors laughing/spewing vitriol at the parking nazis when they saw us taking pictures. It was pretty funny.


"Over space line" -- one of my favorite City of Portland ripoffs. I paid that one once, but these days I tend to keep my visits to downtown to a minimum. It's interesting that in less than eight years, the fine has more than doubled, from $16 to $34. Thirty-four stinking dollars for "over space line." Will the last middle-class consumer to shop in downtown Portland please turn off the lights when you leave?

Comments (27)

Those spaces are often too short /small for extended cab full size trucks.

We don't have any choice but to extend beyond those imaginary boundaries.

Is that a penalty for noncompliance with social goals?

Here's another CoP Parking howler: my father and I launched his boat at Willamette Park this spring. We paid the launch / parking fee, put the receipt on the driver's side of the dash and returned hours later to find a ticket on the car for failure to pay the required fee. WTF? We thought perhaps the officer was too short to see into the truck but that can't be the case because he was able to get the ticket under the wiper. The old man went ahead and paid the ticket (bad idea) and wrote a letter w/ a copy of the receipt asking for a refund (good luck). Hasn't heard anything since.

Looks like we're going to have to double up the budget for that Downtown Marketing campaign you wrote about a week or so ago.

Soon, those of you who are relatively close-in NEers will not need to drive to the overbuilt Pearl, where this citation was written:

The nouveau streetcar demonstration site continues expanding while former Commissioner Charlie "Streetcar" Hales, having gained a career from his brief time in our heritage city government, promotes this form of slower-than-you-can-walk urban transport in other cities around the planet. How European. How sophisticated. How treacherous for bicyclists, especially on rainy days.

Trimet's fines are actually higher. I have got a couple tickets the Sunset TC. Once for "over the line"..I was actually just barely on the line, in a compact space. And I have a compact car. Their compact spaces are pretty narrow anyway. Ticket is $40. The other was for parking in the carpool area. It says the spaces are for carpools until 9am. I parked at 8:58. And didnt get out of my car until after 9. No parking nazis in sight. However when I got back to my car in the afternoon, I had a $40 parking ticket that said I was parked there at 8:56. Seriously, 4 minutes even? Pretty silly.

I don't park on the street in Portland. Not since I paid $240 to have my electric window fixed after the parking stickers messed it up. I park at Bridgeport Village and Washington Square/Target several times each month.

I've never been spang'd out there either.

How do stickers mess up an electric window?

Parking downtown is $34 Russian roulette.

I take the bus or Go By Bicycle! Much easier to find a staple rack than a parking space.


If you forget to remove them and roll the window down and then realize your lack of attention to the details and then roll the window up. I can see some damage occurring to the mechanism.

Was the address where the long-time reader saw the car the same as the address listed on the ticket? Could be that the car was parked elsewhere when it received the ticket. Or maybe, had been over the line earlier in the day before someone used the car and then returned it.

Otherwise, this parking meter maid has a serious problem with measurements - "is that really eight inches?"

Google Maps street view for NW 14th and Irving appears to be similar to the photos. Hard to see, but is the right rear wheel on the curb? If so, what a ch&!@nsh*t violation.

The ticket read 11 AM, and we took the pictures at 6 PM -- maybe it was over the line earlier in the day?

It would be easy for ZipCar (or whichever service this is) to figure out the answer to that, as they'd know who had been driving it at that point using their car reservation database. I think it'd be easy to determine if the car was correctly ticketed elsewhere, or erroneously ticketed here.

What's especially annoying is that without the posts that held the traditional meters it is impossible from the driver seat to see or judge where the lines are.

You have to get out of your car, go look, and if you're over the line, get back in and roll the car back over it. At least two chances to door somebody on a bike. All to park your car in Portland. When the meters come in, I start making alternate plans.

I avoid downtown, if at all possible.

Bicycles? In the rain?


Yeah, riiiight.

Heh. We stopped going into Portland in total. Nothing there that we can't get in surrounding communities. All those parking tickets did is stop us from spending our thousands of dollars per year in the Portland city centre.

The vehicle appears to be parked in a carshare spot; the citation notes that it is associated with Meter #H140658. But aren't carshare spots unmetered -- another gift to the city-protected carshare monopoly? Could this be evidence that the ticketed vehicle acquired the citation elsewhere? O, who can answer this question and relieve us of this vexing matter on this weekend of recalling honest, passionate labor?

Parking Nazis?? Really?? You feel it's ok to call people Nazis??
Last time I checked, parking tickets were 100% avoidable. I am curious what the pictures the parking officer took look like.

Nunya - if you are trying to tell me that law enforcement never gives out bogus tickets, I am here to laugh in your face.... and I can prove that I forced Beaverton to void several hundred fraudulent speeding tickets a few years back.

LucsAdvo- I specifically stated "parking tickets". Have you ever gotten a parking ticket when you were parked legally? Me neither.

What a difference in Boise. I forgot to plug the meter and ran back just as the officer was writing up the ticket. Not only did she cancel it on her own without any pleading from me, she reminded me to press the button for the free first 20 minutes and wished me a good day.

Nunya - Not in PDX (I try not to park downtown very often) but back East, yes I have.

Some of the parking officers are much worse than others. There are a few that are "parking Nazis" and they do give out bogus tickets. I have been the recipient of such tickets and have successfully fought them.
I will continue to call these select individuals "parking Nazis".
For example, just how many broken, or faulty ticket machines are you supposed to try to get your sticker from before you give up?
I have even encountered one "officer" who tried to ticket my car as I was buying the parking sticker from the machine.
I shop at the malls and go down town as little as possible.

I'd say that the parking ticket is for that space.

A quick search on google maps shows that the photo is from that address. (Google Street View Map)

It's probably a government extortion racket where the City of Portland has agreed to ticket these cars to move money from one money bucket to another.

Portland government is pretty corrupt.

the amount of the fines is ultimately in control of the Circuit Court which must approve the fines when they are increased. the last time overtime was increased to ($47?), the city said it needed this because the previous fine ($39 or something close) was not proving to be a "deterrent" to overtime parking. Such transparent b.s. but the court rubber stamps. Obviously they need meters in downtown portland otherwise every employee would drive their car in and park all day on the street. But to the average person, $15 or $20 would be plenty of deterrent. an increase is always about revenue.

What fun! Maybe I will park downtown someday but don't hold your breath. It would be in an attended garage if I did.


I didn't see what the precise failure was in the electric window. The technician said he found three parking stickers inside the window motor's mechanism. He said it was the sticky part that seemed to be to blame. I don't know if it was in gears, or a sensor, or what. I must not have peeled off the sticker before rolling it down.

The window went down, and wouldn't go back up. The charge was mostly for labor and one inexpensive part.

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