There’s Absolutely No Reason I Should Have Gotten This Parking Ticket in Portland, Maine
I got a parking ticket on Friday morning in Portland and I don't mean to be "that guy" but it was undeserved.
I park on the street to go to work because any lot or garage is prohibitively expensive. I'd much rather pay $2 an hour on the street than $5 an hour in the One City Center Parking garage, which believe it or not, is one of the least expensive places to park in Portland.
I get to work at about 4:15 a.m. and lucky for me, the meters don't go into effect until 9 a.m. So by 11, all the work that I need to be at the studio for is done and I can finish the rest at home. So parking each day only runs me $4 plus the 25 cent convenience fee to the service that I use to pay for parking using my smartphone. So it's either $35 in the garage for seven hours or $4.25 on the street for seven hours. The math is pretty clear on the better deal here.
The only time I run into trouble is if I either forget to pay for parking at 9 a.m., park on a certain street on Wednesdays, or let the meter expire. I was very surprised when I went out to my car and saw a ticket on it Friday because I was 100% confident my meter hadn't expired, but there it was, having just been placed by the parking enforcement officer.
Expired meter, but it shouldn't be, and here's why.
First, let me show you my receipt for my payment on the app for the time at the meter and see if you can figure out the problem.
See the "End" time? 10:56 AM. Now take a look at the time on the ticket.
Just one minute after it expired. That's a little crazy. I asked the parking control officer about it, prefacing my question with, "I know you're only doing your job," because I know they all work hard and probably have to deal with complaints all the time.
I pointed out that it had been just one minute since it expired, and he said that the officers have no idea what time anyone parked there or how long they paid for because they just enter the license plate number and if it's expired their machine spits out a ticket. That's fair, but it wasn't expired.
Parking is $2 for one hour with a maximum of two hours in the same space. So two hours would be $4.25 total with the 25 cent convenience fee. My receipt says I paid $4.25 at 9:01 a.m, yet my meter expired at 10:56 a.m shorting me by 5 minutes. I was at my car before 11:01, but had a ticket. That's not right.
So now what? Do I actually request a court hearing? Seems like a lot to go through for an undeniable error. What would you do?
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