Thursday, September 3, 2009

Color Blind?

Okay, it's time for another quiz because I seem to be writing a lot of parking tickets for colored curbs lately. Work with me here:

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#1 - If you see a curb that is clearly painted bright RED, you should:

A) Park there until you see a police car, then quickly drive away

B) Park and turn your hazard flashers on, because that makes it "okay"

C) Not stop or park there at all unless it's a true emergency (Note: dropping off a passenger is NOT an emergency)

D) Run into the curb

If you picked C), congratulations. If you picked A) or B), you probably met me this week and I gave you a little green paper present.

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#2 - If you see a curb that is painted YELLOW, you should:

A) Park there for up to 30 minutes while actively loading or unloading cargo

B) Park there while you unload a small paper bag, then remain parked there until you see a police officer writing you a parking ticket, THEN come out and lie and say you were only parked there for a minute and are moving now despite the fact that I have already driven past your car four times in the past half hour, including right after you parked it.

C) What does a yellow curb mean?

D) Park half in, and half out of the yellow zone

If you picked A), you're correct and we will not likely meet to discuss your parking. If you picked any of the other answers, we have probably already interacted this week.

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If you see a curb painted WHITE, you should:

A) Park your car there and go into the post office to stand in line for fifteen minutes

B) Park there for up to three minutes to load or unload passengers or deposit mail in the nearby mailbox

C) Park like you would anywhere else

D) Leave your car running with the windows down and the doors unlocked while you run into the liquor store to buy your Swisher Sweets so you can roll your blunt, then come back out and argue with me that your car was not parked because it was still running whilst I add the additional violation to the ticket for leaving your unattended vehicle running.

If you picked B), you know your stuff. If you picked A) or C), you're a regular in my town. If you picked D), you probably met me today.

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If you see a curb painted BLUE, you should:

A) Just park for a minute to run to the ATM

B) Not notice the blue curb, or the blue sign

C) Park elsewhere unless you have a disabled person parking placard, which is coincidentally ALSO colored blue

D) Park there anyway, go in to get your Jamba Juice, then when you see the officer writing you a parking ticket come running out to tell me you didn't realize the hash marks painted between the blue spaces with the big letters that read "NO PARKING" meant you couldn't park there. Then, when I write you the parking ticket, don't walk away and leave the car parked there, because when I tell you I will write you another ticket and tow your car if you leave it there, I'm fucking serious.

If you picked C), bravo! If you picked A), you just took a $275 trip to the ATM. If you picked B), we meet often. If you picked D), again, we met this morning. Have fun getting your car out of impound.

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If you see a curb painted GREEN, you should:

A) Park your car there and leave it for 8 hours while you're at work

B) Park your car on the wrong side of the street, facing traffic

C) Look for the signs that tell you how long you can park there, or if there are no signs park for no longer than 15 minutes.

D) Oh, no! A green curb! I guess I should just keep going and not park

If you picked C), I applaud you. If you picked A) or B), you guessed it, we've met. If you picked D), you won't get a ticket, but you're not the brightest crayon in the box either.

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I still can't figure why people think they can park their cars where and however they please with no repercussion. If it blocks other vehicles or pedestrians, screw 'em, they can go around. If it keeps a disabled person who really needs the spot from accessing it, too bad. Then, when they get a parking ticket for their indiscretion, they feel like they can call me out on it. Well, guess what. I don't get paid to stand here and argue with you about it, and I'm certainly not going to let you escalate it to fisticuffs. Pay it or contest it. Even then you'll likely end up paying it anyway.

Officer Smith, educating the parking public $45 at a time...

27 comments:

Moe said...

News to me!

I know about the red zones and figured out the blue, and I guess I knew the white from the airport(the whitezone is for loading and unloading only.) The yellow and green, I've never heard of.

We don't really have painted curbing out here.

MTBLaura said...

Dang, I sure am glad I don't live in CA. You have some very harsh and complicated traffic laws over there. ;-) Here, we just park on the lawn. No one says a peep. :-)

911 and the Randomness.. said...

That is fan-freaking-tastic!!

Damsel Underdressed said...

Where the heck do you live??? We don't have any pretty colors on our curbs! We can only park where it ISN'T painted!

That's it! I'm filing a complaint. ;)

t said...

$45 is the fine? *M not from the States*

Sabra said...

Huh. California has a lot more colored curbs than Texas does. I don't think I've ever seen a green or blue curb.

I was picking up the girls from school Tuesday, and the mom in front of me as I was waiting to sign in at the office was bitching because she parked at the curb in front of the school, came in to pick up her kid, and returned to a parking ticket. I said that all those NO PARKING ANY TIME signs really are confusing, but she pretended not to hear me.

I owe a cop somewhere in this city some Starbucks.

The Pup said...

!! Ah, this is so hilarious! That's what I'm taking care of right now - by-law parking enforcement. I had a good laugh at a number of these, having met many of these types of individuals, myself. I can commiserate and hopefully share a chuckle.

horsndogluvr said...

None of this is your fault, Officer Smith. And I love your stories...

I'm not a Californian, so I'd probably get a ticket from you. I understand Red = Stop, Yellow = caution, and Green = go. We have curbs painted white here, with the house numbers in black. It doesn't mean anything. I might be able to figure out the blue one, if it's got the wheelchair stencil on the street.

In my town, in flyover country, we have signs. No Parking Any Time, Loading Zone - 30 Min Limit, Handicapped Parking Only, stuff like that.

Why has California switched? Is the illiteracy rate that high?

I guess I won't come there any time soon. It might get expensive. I wouldn't be looking at the curb. I'd be watching for signs. That's not how I want to meet you, or any other of my favorite LE bloggers!

Ruthie

Officer "Smith" said...

MTBLaura:

Our city even has a municipal code that says you can't park a car on your lawn. Urban blight I guess. Of course here your nearest neighbor is 20 feet away.

Damsel:

Yeah, welcome to the Kalifornia Republik.

T:

$45 is the fine for that particular violation in this particular county, except the blue curbs which are $275.

Sabra:

Don't even get me started on parking around schools. I tend to get a little hot under the collar.

horsndogluvr:

California hasn't switched, the curb colors have been the law as long as I can remember. It's even in the driver handbook and on some of the tests.

Beat And Release said...

I learned to drive in California. My dad had an old Chevy Luv pickup, four speed manual transmission. Living in the Bay area, San Francisco was my classroom. That's called 'learning under the gun' when it comes to a manual transmission. Lombard Street was my final test.

I haven't been back to that area since 1986. I miss the hiking and camping there. We don't have real mountains in South Carolina.

*Goddess* said...

At first I thought I really needed to get out more because all I've ever seen in my 'hood are yellow or white curbs, then I read other comments and realized I wasn't alone. Phew! Here it's yellow=don't park and white=park.

Too many colors=too damn confusing

Not a Granny said...

Red, yellow, white and blue I knew. I've never heard of or seen green curbs...I thought maybe it had something to do with recycling or you could park there if you were dumping trash....*grin*

P said...

Another Californian here. (Well, I am really a New Yorker living in CA, but I digress.) One minor addition to your comments regarding the BLUE painted curb:

Temporary handicapped placards are red (I have one due to my foot surgery), and are valid in any handicapped parking space, or curb. (We can even park at metered parking spaces for free, so I've read, yes? I haven't tried this yet but am tempted to do so before my placard expires.) The blue placards are permananent placards.

Officer "Smith" said...

Yes, P, you are correct. Temporary disabled placards are red in this state.

And yes, you can use your placard to park at a meter without paying. In fact, time limits in green curb areas don't apply to you either. You can pretty much park anywhere that isn't red or otherwise outright illegal.

WW said...

I was waiting for the no parking on the yellow curb. I know you're not supposed to park at a yellow curb for any amount of time here. I've never heard of a green curb.
If you put your hazards on you can park anywhere, right?

My boyfriend used to see a lot of what you described here and other crap people would pull. He used to be a Community Safety Officer with the police here, and they are the ones mainly responsible for writing parking tickets.

Triple Beeper said...

Our curbs are also not so multi-colored. But local parkers still seem to have a problem, case in point:

Oh, and my husband's fire dept. crew in a fire ENGINE got hit parked at the red curb one time. The first argument she tried was that they shouldn't have been parked there. The second argument was that she didn't see them.

As I recall, that particular officer was about as amused as you are here.

P said...

Thanks for confirming the metered parking issue. I would like your perspective regarding your last statement to my earlier response.

I had jury duty a couple of weeks ago, and parked on the street alongside the courthouse. There were no meters, nor parking signs within view, and the curbs were either of no color or red. I parked my truck alongside a portion of the curb with no color, and, in force of habit, placed my handicap placard on the rear view mirror.

When I came out three hours later, I'd been given a parking ticket, with the reason checked off as being I had been parked too long in a 2-hour parking limit zone. However, the officer also wrote WARNING at the bottom of the ticket. I'd like to assume it's not a "live" ticket (for lack of the appropriate term), but I'll be smart and go to the PD tomorrow to inquire about it.

For the record, I did find one sign as I drove away; it was at one end of the block, and mostly covered by branches. If you parked more than a few feet way from it - I was towards the other end of the block - you would not see it at all, and I've taken several photos that prove my point, if need be.

So, from your perspective, would using the placard be valid in a zone identified as having a 2-hour parking limit?

Thanks for your guidance. I'm enjoying the blog.

BootedCop said...

Real cops don't write parking cites...we leave that to the meter nazis! Great post Smith!

Officer "Smith" said...

Well Boot, that depends on your agency. Where I work, real cops DO write parking tickets.

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P,

Not sure what county you're in, but in this county, when they send you a juror badge they include a second part to put on your dash when you have jury duty.

As for WARNING written across the bottom of the ticket, he probably wrote the ticket, then noticed your placard when he got up to put the ticket under your wiper. I would just shred the ticket, but maybe he was too lazy to do that.

Your plan to check with the PD sounds wise, just to make sure you're not going to have a bunch of late fees for not paying the ticket it sounds like you didn't really get. Does that make ANY sense?

I hope my post doesn't confuse folks into thinking the curb MUST be colored to regulate parking. If there are signs for a parking limit, or no parking for that matter, there does not need to be colored curb. It's really just an added visual aid for drivers. Either signs or colors can regulate parking. Sometimes you'll even see both.

If there was only one sign on the block, I'd be hard pressed to issue a citation there...

But that's just me.

Joufy said...

Wow! Our curbs aren't really coloured in Canada, so I'm confused. . Here in Banff the curbs used to be yellow 5m from stop signs and in front of churches. The only problem was that once the town painted the curbs to warn people, the winter came and the paint wore away. After a few years they stopped painting them.

The Singularity said...

Really Smitty? That why you became a cop? To write chicken-shit tickets? No end of meth heads breaking into shit and all kind of other shitty behaviour and than I have to worry about some armed meter maid screwing with me while I'm making a mostly honest living? Hope you get big fat ticks on your hymen.
Cool blog though.

Officer "Smith" said...

No, Singularity, that is absolutely NOT why I became a police officer, but I have to do SOMETHING while there are no tweekers "breaking into shit".

It's called variety. It is, supposedly, the spice of life.

Don't like it, then go read someone else's blog.

And you really needn't make such irrelevant comments about ticks on hymens. It makes you look like a real asshole.

In fact, it makes you sound like a prick I used to work with...

Everybody fucking hated him.

The Singularity said...

Ticks on your hymen offend you did it? Little thin skinned for a cop. Look maybe I'm an asshole, but at least I don't make a living being one. Guess if all you want on your blog is people pulling on your zipper, I'll go elsewhere. But really man your response pretty much proved I'm right.

Officer "Smith" said...

Would you prefer I didn't respond to you at all? I'm sure that would make you feel good. That would likely prove you more right than my response supposedly did.

If you could be bothered to read the header on this blog, you'd see that comments are welcome, but I warn you to be ready for me to respond. If you can't handle the response, perhaps you shouldn't comment.

As for "pulling on my zipper", there are ample posts and comments on this blog that blow your assertion out of the water. I don't give a tinkers damn if comments are positive or negative. I only ask that they be on topic, and not try to personally attack anyone.

As I said, you don't know me. So for you to make assumptions like you did show that you are the ass.

If doing what my agency pays me to do makes me an asshole, then I guess I am. But I don't gloat about it.

The Singularity said...

Quite a temper you have. Not hard to figure out why you spend your day giving out tickets.
Had you retorted to my post with some humor and grace, you'd have had a fan and I would have been happy to direct others here. But you had your little tantrum and that's fine. Good luck, and I hope your ticket writing pen leaks in your pocket daily.

Officer "Smith" said...

So now I have a temper?

And why would I respond to a comment like yours with humor? You comment wasn't the least bit humorous.

You seem to enjoy throwing statements around that you have no basis for.

You say I threw a tantrum, just because I responded to your post. I'm not a child. I don't have tantrums. I responded to you in the same tone in which you made your comment.

Then you proceed to wish pen problems upon me because you didn't like my answer.

It seems that you are the one with the issues. Not me.

As I said before, I couldn't care less if someone posts a negative comment on here. Where I draw the line is the personal insults such as "Hope you get big fat ticks on your hymen." and "I hope your ticket writing pen leaks in your pocket daily."

It's childish, unnecessary, and irrelevant to this blog.

Had you left your comment at disagreeing with my issuance of parking tickets, you'd have been spot on. But no. You had to throw in the little smartass ending. You're the kind of driver I actually enjoy giving a ticket to. And those are few and far between.

Now, unless you have something productive to say, I'd suggest you show yourself out.

the observer said...

Ever since I saw this post (and LOL) I've been wanting to send you these links. Confusion is not just limited to the west coast.

Article: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/complaint-box-no-standing/
Follow up:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/readers-weigh-in-on-parking-confusion/

The articles are in the City Room blog, "complaint box" section dated 6/12 and 6/18

These made me LOL too.

I always wondered growing up in NYC what "standing" was...