Wednesday, October 1, 2008

speaking of bullshit...

Somerville's revenue generator, Oh I mean their 'street cleaning' racket really pisses me off. Twice a week I can't park on my street, or the side streets near me because of 'street cleaning' which half the time they don't ACTUALLY DO!

Last night I forgot to move my car and sure enough when I remembered at 12:01 they are already out there ticketing me. Hey if you go down to the traffic office you wait 45 minutes, but they are mighty timely when it comes to ticketing you the tax payer of their town. The ticket is also $50! Are you kidding me!?? $50 fucking dollars for parking during 'street cleaning'.

YEA and this morning when I came out (no reason to move my car after the $50 ticket) it was CLEAR the street wasn't cleaned at all! There were a bunch of leaves and dirt/sand on the side that was 'cleaned' and there was no clear path of where the street sweeper had driven through - you can see the path when they drive through it lasts for a while.

OH and I REALLY love it when it's raining and they ticket for 'street cleaning'. I can HEAR the cleaner when it drives by and doesn't go by when it's raining.


nancypearlwannabe said...

Seriously, how is Somerville not the richest city on the planet? I see boatloads of $50 tickets every week. Maybe they could use some of that money to buy street cleaners that actually, you know, clean.

DJDiva said...

I heard they once had some money stolen from their parking ticket stash and it was like 4 million bucks! Wonder if that was true or not..

And yes where are our tax dollars at work??

donnasears77 said...

Just a $50 ticket?!? Consider yourself lucky... in East Boston while it is only a $40 ticket from the city they ALWAYS tow your car on top of that and to get your car back from the tow yard... $119!! Believe me, I know. :-(

DJDiva said...

ouch! yea luckily they didn't tow it.

pitpat said...

Have you ever tried to contest a ticket? The guy in the Traffic & Parking office is really nice, and if you explain the circumstances, I bet he would forgive this one for you, especially if you've paid your others on time. He's done that for me in the past.

I agree the amount of street cleaning can be a bit overwhelming, but let me put a few things in perspective.

First, if the ticket price were lower, the city might collect even more money for residents, because fewer people would feel obliged to move. And given the tiny percentage of the budget represented by ticket collections, it's hard to believe the city uses it for revenue generation. As another commenter pointed out, the penalties in some cities are even harsher, including towing.

As for ticketing when street cleaning doesn't take place . . . those two tasks are done by completely separate groups of people. The tickets are given out by traffic enforcement and the street cleaning by DPW. I can't blame the traffic enforcers for just doing their job when they certainly had no idea street cleaning wouldn't be taking place. Perhaps DPW could communicate would them somehow. But then again, the purpose of the regular enforcement is to get people in a normal habit of following the rules.

I'm not sure what the better solution is, if there is one.

DJDiva said...

No I've never fought it - except my first ticket during a snow emergency when I first moved to Somerville. I explained I had just moved to the city and didn't know the rules since they are not posted ANYWHERE on the streets and didn't know that Somerville had a website with this info. They wrote me back saying we refuse to reduce this ticket - you must pay it and to pay attention to the signs. WHAT SIGNS? there aren't any about snow emergencies!

I realize they have to enforce traffic laws etc - because if not, people will park anywhere. But I have had only 2 other tickets in Somerville (which I paid including the snow emergency one), but I never get tickets. I just really forgot this one time, but it's annoying that when they forget to clean the street I still get ticketed (and yes very thankful it's not a tow too!)

And perhaps the DPW should be clearer of when they really are going to clean the street. It's just frustrating that twice a week (at least) I get home after a long day at work and have to drive around for a half hour for a space - because I can't park on one side.