True confessions of a car stalker

11 Jul


I’ve designated myself the parking police.

I park on the street and it has suddenly become hard to get a parking spot. So, I have become a parking detective – and snitch.During the school year, I became anxious if traffic was bad, worried these new (and unknown) interlopers would hog a space.

City laws say that you have to move your car every 24 hours, so I began noting which cars didn’t move.   I looked a little further into parking regs and learned that the city has a parking hotline. Suddenly, I had a tool to handle my concerns.

I confess, I have only called on two cars. There are criteria that have to be met.

A vehicle that remains in violation for more than 24 hours and one or more of the following conditions exist:

A.    The vehicle does not have an unexpired registration plate, fails to display current registration, or does not have them lawfully affixed to the vehicle.

As an example a vehicle with a temporary registration or a TRIP permit counts as having current registration while the temporary registration or TRIP permit is valid and visible.

B.     The vehicle appears to be inoperative or disabled.

As an example a vehicle with a flat tire is inoperative, but a vehicle that might have an impairment that is not visible is not an Abandoned Vehicle.

C.    The vehicle appears to be wrecked, partially dismantled or junked.

As an example a vehicle with a missing windshield would be considered partially dismantled. A vehicle with a missing or damaged door window would not be considered wrecked, partially dismantled, or junked as it could still be legally operated on public highways.

In both cases where I called, bright green tow warnings appeared. In the first case, the vehicle was moved. In the second case, it was towed on July 1st, almost a month after I called. Apparently Portland also has a problem with abandoned vehicles and has a backlog.

There are a couple of other vehicles I am watching. Two have been moved twice since the tow happened. One has been sitting for over a month. It’s plates are good through August. I am also vigilant about my own car and, make sure that if I don’t go anywhere, I move my car so no one thinks I’ve abandoned it.


7 Responses to “True confessions of a car stalker”

  1. marilynyung July 11, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    Didn’t realize this was down to such a system/science. Now we know that at least in your area somebody is actually watching and keeping track. Parking is a premium amenity in our society, isn’t it?

  2. arjeha July 11, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    I have often encountered this problem but never did anything because I wasn’t sure what the protocol was. It is difficult enough to sometimes find parking is some areas so I agree that something needs to be done. Nice to know that we are not the only ones with this kind of problem.

  3. Jennifer Laffin July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

    I giggled when I read your post today. I get anxiety over parking spots, especially in the winter when it is dark earlier. I don’t like to have to park far away from where I want to go just because someone else is not following the rules.

    • Adrienne July 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

      I thought I was the only one, but several people have commented off my blog that they have similar parking issues. I am more normal than I thought.

  4. Judy C. July 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    I guess that’s a perk of living in a small community. Although, hubby would love to be the parking lot patrol at our local Walmart where people drive down the aisle the opposite way of the arrow.

  5. Brian Rozinsky July 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    This sounds like the premise for a novel: self-deputized parking police ‘officer’ turns in a vehicle; a body or some other illicit something surfaces in the abandoned vehicle; shenanigans ensue. Or maybe my brain is just dredging up an old episode of “Law & Order.” Thanks for sparking this tangent.

  6. Karen LaBonte July 12, 2017 at 10:04 am #

    As a fellow Portlander, this cracked me up. *And* it made me wonder if you belonged to, where your neighbors would surely love to read about the parking tools at their disposal.

    There’s a motorcycle that’s parked a block away from my house– hasn’t moved in about six weeks. Hmmmm….

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