“Philadelphia is trifling,” says Bubbles! I concur.
My four year game of cat and mouse came to a screeching halt today. The Boy, Bubbles! and I stopped by to see KnittyLawyer and her brood. The kids played, we chatted and knitted then I remembered a pattern I wanted to show her and dashed to the car to get it.
I saw it. A bright orange sticker that just in case my immobilized car didn’t prove, I was booted.
I take full responsibility for all tickets but the red light camera ones (side eye at you, Mister). I know my petulant refusal to pay parking tickets creates a lite game of chicken. Each time I drive into Philadelphia I gamble on my car being ticketed, booted or towed. But life does not begin and end with Delco, and I intended to pay the tickets on my terms and my time or when the envelopes started to change colors. Whichever came first. Apparently, Philadelphia has its own terms and time and my number was up!
Three weeks ago I avoided a ticket and a tow because the meter reader sympathized with my half block heat wave sprint. She told me that until I got my stuff straight I should consider using parking lots. And for the most part, all my forrays into the city have been me utilizing lots.
I thought the boot squad mainly stuck to commercial areas, so I didn’t think twice about parking on a small side street to make my visit. Alas, that is a myth. The boot squad makes visits EVERYWHERE.
Thank God that I had the money to pay for the removal of the boot and thank God that KnittyLawyer was able to let me stay in the church to wait. She also was able to provide lunch for the kids.
About three hours later, the boot squad returned to take the boot off. Here is where I thank KnittyLawyer. I was so mad, and I was prepared to tell the person removing the boot where to go, how to get there and how my foot was going to assist him on his way. KnittyLawyer pulled me back and told me to shut up.
And here’s why:
1. Navigating through the auto system of the Philadelphia Parkig Authority is an exercise in patience and grace. Press 1 for booting, enter your ticket(s), press pound, jump on one foot get disconnected. Call back, speak to a live person, let her frustrate the Hell out of you due to her nonchalance, get disconnected. Call back, pay, get an estimated time of one hour wait two and a half.
2. Like thieves in the night, the boot squad eases in and boots your car. However, to get it removed you wait. And Wait. And Wait. I watch Parking Wars on A&E. I just *know* the crew was on Germantown Avenue chilling. Hard.
3. I rarely throw out the class card but really, 15th and Cumberland?! Why choose a visibly economically depressed residential neighborhood where the majority of the residents are unemployed to patrol for scofflaw. In front of your home and being on your block should offer a sense of security that your car is safe, and this security is extended to visitors. Sleeping Beauty pointed out that she’s seen them on Walnut St, Spruce St, and University City. But these are well traveled areas. Blocks off the beaten path should be off limits. Bustling commercial Broad Street is two blocks away. I would bet my bottom dollar that half of those cars have more issues than a few late parking tickets. I don’t have proof other than some effed up stickers and lousy driving.
4. Michael Nutter. No explanation needed.
5. In a time where the majority of the country is:
“Keepin’ their head above water,
Making a wave when they can.
There’s still temporary lay offs.
They suffer from easy credit rip offs.
They are still scratchin’ and surviving.
Or hanging in a chow line”
A payment plan should be an option over the phone rather than in person at Spring Garden St where its a rock, paper, scissors approach to assisting customers. The PPA and the agent that takes the payments are a prime example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. After an on the spot hearing, once that option is chosen, there’s still a chance that you could get caught up in a booting nightmare.
6. There’s a fee for getting the boot, there’s a fee for removing the boot. There’s a fee to pay your fine. There’s a fee BECAUSE of the fine.
7. Eight Per Cent sales tax.
8. In 2010, why isn’t there a mobile application to make payments? Or a way to have a text message sent when the boot squad graces us with their arrival.
Many hundreds of dollars lighter and three hours later the kids and I FINALLY made our escape from Philadelphia. The kids cheered, I sighed and pulled off, no longer on the run of the PPA.
Now about those speeding tickets…
Created on the fly by Mrsrkfj