April 2, 2010 Leave a comment
Chattanooga, Tennessee is my hometown. I was born and raised in the area, and still go back to visit family and friends on occassion. My family owned a business in the area that has come to be known as North Shore for many years.
Because this area has seen such a renaissance in development and growth, I am always interested in shopping the stores around Coolidge Park. Today, I went back down there to do some shopping, and found that the City now requires motorists to pay for parking in this area. The posted rate was a modest $1.00 for two hours of parking. Other downtown areas charge higher rates for parking, so I felt like this was a reasonable fee.
After finding a place to park, I went over to the payment booth and purchased a parking ticket. I then left this ticket on the dashboard of the vehicle I was driving. After shopping for about an hour and half, I returned to find that I had been issued a parking citation. The time that the citation was issued is the EXACT same time as when I payed for the privilege to park.
This is not a joke! See the picture below to view both the parking citation issued by a municipal government flunky, and also the receipt for payment I made to park there. After I called the number on the parking citation, I was informed that this “happens all the time” where a parking lot checker crosses paths with a driver who has just parked. They said they were going to “void” the ticket.
It is clear that the government fee grabbers are out of control in Chattanooga. While the parking situation in a growing downtown area may require that it be metered, citizens and tourists should be given a fair opportunity to pay for their parking before a local government lot lizard issues a citation on their handheld computer.
Instead of hounding law abiding citizens trying to patronize local businesses, perhaps enforcement efforts would be better directed to fighting violent crime.
The local shop owners would likely agree.