Follow The Rules

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Another one from 2015 that really needs no explanation.

The sign seems pretty self-explanatory, doesn’t it? I mean, what part of “reserved” is unclear?

The sign marks my parking spot. Our complex has assigned parking, with an exclusive spot for each homeowner. Every couple of months though I come home and find someone parking in that spot. I have never been able to figure out why – there is ample visitor parking.

If it is daytime when this happens I just park in a visitors’ spot, and leave a note on the windshield of the offending vehicle, pointing out their breach of the rules and that they are at risk of being ticketed and towed.

A couple of times I have caught the offenders as they return to their vehicle. When I ask why they park in a spot marked “reserved” the usual response is a shrug.

When I came home at 11 p.m. this past Saturday, in a rainstorm, and found a vehicle in my parking spot I was not amused. Residents are not supposed to use visitors’ parking but I can get away with it if necessary in the daytime. At night there is a security patrol; residents’ vehicles parked in visitors’ spots receive parking tickets.

I was tired and didn’t want to deal with the hassle, but I needed my parking spot back. There was no way to tell if the nice new white Mercedes was owned by someone attending a party who would be leaving soon, or if they were parked there for the night. Taking action meant I was going to get to bed a lot later than I intended.

There is a procedure to follow. Sadly I know what it is because I have been through the process before. First comes the call to the city.

Normally connecting to Ottawa’s bylaw control office is a quick process. On Saturday night, perhaps because of the rain, I was on hold for 20 minutes, listening to the same boring information loop over and over. Finally I spoke to a live operator and was promised that a police officer and a tow truck would be dispatched.

The police officer is necessary (I guess) because bylaw control officers don’t work that late at night. Someone had to show up and ascertain that I really did have exclusive use of the parking spot. An hour after the call the offending Mercedes was gone.

I should have some sympathy for the person who, in the pouring rain, discovered their car was missing. I assume they called to report it stolen, and discovered the police already had the car in their possession. That would be when they also discovered that they had to pay for both a parking ticket and towing costs – which I think is about $350.

I should have some sympathy, but I don’t. After all, what part of “Reserved” is unclear to you?

One comment

  1. Phil Allan · · Reply

    We are all equal, but some are more equal than others. More deserving of good things too. More important that other people or rules or laws. this was evident with the recent power outage. 4 way intersection controlled by lights that are out? Treat as a 4 way stop and alternate going through. Execept those that don’t. Not just one or two, but frequently 3, 4 or 5.
    Glad you got your parking spot back. Not sure if the perpetrators will learn anything, or just feel hard done by.

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