I get the concept of parking tickets. Your meter expires or you park in a clearly marked no-parking zone, you get a ticket. I’m a Detroit resident. The city needs revenue. It’s all part of the game.
But over time, I’ve occasionally got parking tickets in “no-parking zones” I had no idea were “no parking zones.” And when that’s the case, I considered it a scam.
The latest scam came a few weeks ago when I parked on Griswold Street, between Fort and Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Detroit. I fed the meter, thinking all was fine. But when I returned to my car I had a $45 ticket for parking at a “bus stop.”
Granted there was a small Smart bus sign, near the Zone 105 parking signs indicating that it was a parking area. Mind you, in other parts of the city, where there’s a DDOT bus sign, the sign has a no-standing logo included, making it clear it’s not cool to park there.
In this case, there is no sign indicating there’s no parking, only a sign indicating your parking in Zone 105. To boot, there’s a sign that says “no standing this side of sign” several spaces away. The parking space in question sits on the correct side of that sign, which further implies it’s Ok to park there.
Sure, some will argue I should have known. But when you see parking zone signs lining the street, many assume it’s safe to park there.
Obviously, I’m not alone.
In the many days since I was ticketed, I’ve returned to see a number of other cars ticketed in that spot. Obviously, it’s not clear to others that it’s a no parking zone. And obviously, it’s clear the city doesn’t care. It’s a bonanza for the city, which continues to regularly hand out $45 tickets in that spot.
All it would take is a little sign or some yellow paint on the curb to make it clear there’s no parking allowed.
I’ve made several calls to a manager in the parking section to get an explanation as to why, if so many people park there, isn’t there a no-parking sign affixed to the pole or Smart bus sign to make it clear.
I’ve received no call back.
On Monday, I walked by and saw a red car in the spot with a ticket (photo above). The scam is still going strong.
The city can do better than scamming its own residents and visitors to the city to generate revenue.