I Got a Parking Ticket on Saturday Afternoon?
What a drag.
I went to church in downtown San Jose and parked along a street only a block away from the church. I had no coins with me so I studied the meter and saw no reference to when parking had to be paid (many cities stipulate that tolls are required 8 am – 5 pm M-F), saw other cars with ‘EXPIRED’ on their meters, saw no credit card or dollar bill processing options and decided that since it was the weekend, surely there would be no ticketing agents out and about.
Ten minutes before the end of Mass, was all the time the meter maid needed to issue me a $40 citation and leave it on the windshield. Arghhhh. In talking with my wife, it was decided that it may be worthwhile (reduced or eliminated ticket), I would challenge the citation in writing, so here’s my story.
City of San Jose
Office of Parking Violations
PO Box 11023
San Jose CA 95013
Dear sir or madam:
I am writing to request an INITIAL REVIEW of citation 65011126 issued on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 17:21 pm at 100 Post St, San Jose CA.
I am a visitor to San Jose and was most disappointed to receiving this citation on an otherwise wonderful Saturday afternoon. You see, when I parked at that location, on Post St, which is only 200 feet or so from St Joseph’s Cathedral, I inspected the meter to see if there was any hours of operation indicated. There was none. In other cities, such as Boston, for example, the meters must be paid only during certain hours of the day and are free on weekends. Whatever the rules, these are normally posted clearly to see, on the meter. There is no reference to PAY ALL THE TIME, or 8-5 MF ONLY or anything like that on or near the meter. So I was naturally confused as to whether or not the meter was supposed to have been fed. Seeing no references at all to day or time of day limitations, I naturally assumed that no civilized city enforces parking on weekends, and especially not so close to a church, so I didn’t feed the meter.
Sadly, San Jose is not one of those civilized cities.
Also, since I had no coins in my possession, I looked to see if there was a credit card or dollar bill processor like on soda and candy dispensing machines. Boston has credit card processing meters and on some streets even advises motorists to pay at a centralized station where credit card and dollar bills can be inserted and then place the paid receipt (post-it type note) on the inside of the sidewalk facing window.
It was also disappointing that the City Parking Department would also work so hard to enforce parking rules during church services. In fact, your enforcement of parking restrictions so close to a church, when I am obviously attending it (why else would I be parked on a street in downtown San Jose at 17:21 pm on a Saturday afternoon?) has the practical effect of instituting a church attendance tax, something that the US Constitution forbids.
For these reasons:
- No markings as to parking time and day policies
- No alternative payment methods
- Saturday ticketing practice designed to target church goers
I hope that you will fairly reconsider enforcing this violation and cancel this citation,
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