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Do You Think My Parking Ticket Was Deserved or Should I Have Gotten a Break?

I park on the street in Portland for one reason. Parking garages in Portland are way too expensive for my pocketbook. They average $5 an hour and I know that’s a lot cheaper than bigger cities like Boston and New York, but Portland isn’t even close to the size of those cities and the cost of living and working in Portland is pretty steep.

I parked on Temple Street in Portland this morning, like several of us who work at the station do. It’s free until 9 a.m., so we head down just before 9 to pay $2.50 for our two hours worth of parking. Today though, I ran a little late and found this ticket on my car. I’ve included my parking slip. Take a look at the times on each.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

My parking expired at 11a.m. and the parking enforcement officer wrote the ticket at 11:07a.m. I got a $15 ticket for 7 minutes over the limit. I was there at 11:08, one minute after the ticket was written and there wasn’t an officer or patrol vehicle in sight. That was a fast get away.

Now I understand that the officer is just doing their job and I have the utmost respect for what they do. They are out there in all sorts of weather making sure people aren’t abusing the parking rules. But 7 minutes? Is that parking spot abuse? It seemed a little harsh to me. No grace period?

The days where you were allowed a free ticket every 6 months are gone. Today, in a typical year, around 124,000 parking tickets are given in Portland. Multiply that by the lowest fee for an expired meter of $15 and the city makes a minimum of $1.8 million on parking tickets on top of what they collect in meters.

I understand, rules are rules, and it’s only $15, but that’s still a lot more than I planned to spend on parking. And unlike old fashioned meters where you have no idea how long they have been expired for, this system shows you exactly when your time expired so they knew it was a mere 7 minutes when writing it.

Police give warnings all the time for speeding violations. Why can’t the same happen here? I would say anything 15 minutes or over justifies a ticket. You have to draw the line somewhere, but I don’t think 7 minutes is it.

What do you think? Was this a little harsh or did I deserve the ticket?

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