Tag Archives: parking

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.


Parallel Parking #SOL15

24 Mar


Parking at my vet’s office can be tricky. In spite of the lack of cars in the picture above, there are usually few spaces available in front of the clinic and there is no parking lot. The street in front used to have two lanes on either side, so, if someone decided to parallel park, they didn’t block traffic.

Last year the city redesigned the traffic flow. Now, there is only one lane on either side and a turn lane in the center, making parking even harder. Additionally, a  block away, a bank was torn down and replaced with an apartment complex, which, though it appears to have underground parking has made parking more difficult. There rarely seem to be spaces near the vet’s office to park.

This isn’t a big deal when I am taking Lucy to the vet. I can park far away and Lucy will run, excited to be somewhere new. Fiona, at 14,  is another matter, and today was her annual appointment. I usually pray for a space large enough for two cars, so I can drive in and then adjust. Today, there was no such luck. In this circumstance, I often drive around the block once or twice hoping for a miracle.

Today as I drove slowly in front of the building a space just big enough for one car was open. I had a split second to decide if I was going to keep driving or attempt parallel parking. I HATE parallel parking in the best circumstances, but, here I was, in the middle of the day on a busy street. Knowing this might be the only spot nearby, I bit the bullet and decided to go for it.

I pulled up beside the car in front of the spot I wanted. My blinker was on so the river of cars beside me flowed into the turn lane to get around me. I took a deep breath, cranked the wheel and started backing up into a perfect act of parallel parking. I crowed my pleasure. Fiona just looked at me from the back seat like I was crazy.

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