Taking a ticket to City Hall,
last monday I walked to my two week old Ninja 250 to discover a $40 parking ticket, for parking in a spot that I had been using for the past 14 months, I have seen meter maids walk past my bike without missing a step, I have parked behind police cars in the spot and not even raised an eyebrow, I had talked for ten minutes with a state trooper about my new bike while it was parked in the spot a week earlier and he didn't even mention that the spot was close to illegal.
My only guesses were that it was from a new officer, or that since the ninja has bodywork(it was stuck in between the gauges and the windscreen) it was more inviting to a ticket from some bored cop who had nothing better to do than my Ducati Monster.
Shocked, I imediately went to the police station and talked to one of the motorcycle cops, they said they knew where I park and have seen my bike there before and didn't know anything about the legality of the spot, only that I would have to dispute the ticket.
I then went to the court this tuesday to see the hearing officer, who is a retired Lieutenant with the peekskill police. After throwing out several tickets, including one parking in a fire zone, he told me that I got caught and said that I could apeal the ticket in court, but it would cost me more money.
I feel that if it were his scenario, and that I got caught and the officer did the tight thing. Then why did this go on for over a year without me getting a single ticket or warning?
He told me that the City of Peekskill considers all registered motor vehicles as the same, meaning that there is no information pertaining to motorcycles, this means:
A motorcycle must use a full parking space, it cannot share a single space with another motorcycle or a car. I asked what I am to do to prevent a car from taking the spot that I paid the meter for, he told me that if it happens to call the police and they will ticket the car, and not my motorcycle.
I park on a busy one way street that has free 1/2 hour and hour long parking as well as three metered spaces, there is no surplus of parking in Peekskill and on some days one can have trouble finding an empty spot.
Wednesday night I parked in the dead center of a spot perpendicular from the pavement, when I walked out to check the bike I saw some guy in a honda civic parallel parking inches from my bike, I walked to the police station and told them that there was a car that had parked in my spot,
they looked a little confused and asked me if I was being blocked in or if the bike had been hit, I then told them what the hearing officer had told me in court, I asked them what they would do. they then got a little pissy and said "I guess we'll go ticket the car then."
Thursday afternoon I had to park in a different spot which had a large sewer grate in the middle that my sidestand would have fallen through, so I parked on the side closer to the meter, it was about ten minutes before an Oldsmobile station wagon parked in the remainder of the space, I walked to the police station and spoke to the same officer I had the night before, he was immediately offensive and asked me "how do I know that you parked there first and not the other car" while pointing his finger and gesturing like a smartass, and then added "Do you have any witnesses" I told him he could ask the two guys putting up a sign on a storefront and walked out.
Later that day I returned to the police station after I saw that a Toyota Camry had decided to share my spot as well, when I went to the window I was greated with a familiar face saying "are you here for parole or parking" he probably thought that would annoy me but I feel that sarcasm should be encouraged amongst the police, the dry just the fact types who give you the runaround I am a cop I can't act like a real human being types piss me off more. He told me that since the bike was not parked square in the middle of the spot that he wasn't going to ticket anybody. He didn't care that in order for the car to share the spot with me that he had gone over the white line on the other end of the spot in order to fit. I did not have the chance to tell him that if I had parked closer to the center that the bike would have fallen to the ground because of the grate.
My lawyer tells me that this is known as "Selective Enforcement" and that I could sue the city over it in court. But it just goes to show that it is a stupid regulation that even the Peekskill police doesn't think is worth the time to enforce, although one of them apparently did when they wrote me the ticket. I did not start this, I am merely doing what I was told by the various people that I have spoken to on the matter.
Also that afternoon after I left the police station the first time a car had taken my spot I went to the mayors office. I went to the City Managers office to make an apointment with the mayor, I was then told that I could see the assistant mayor immediately. We talked for a while about the situation and he said that he would investigate it and see what the officers problem was, he agreed with several points of mine including that if everyone road a motorcycle the street would last almost forever, I cited recent construction on which some severe Whoopdeedoos created by heavy trucks slowing down for a stoplight had to be removed and the road patched in those spots, the parking meters and tickets are meant to subsidize road services as well as the space taken up by parking lots and are a good idea, but motorcycles impact the roads negligeably and (disregarding trikes sidecars and full dress tourers) take up little more space than a bicycle, for a motorcycle to be required to pay a disproportionate amount as well as given the burden to take up an entire parking space or else risk getting a ticket is plain silly.
Last edited by Lt.Gustl; 05-09-2002 at 09:03 PM.