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Last day of the month and the meter maids must be scrambling to make their quotas

We live on one of those out-of-the-way Roslindale streets that almost nobody drives on unless they either live here or on one of the even smaller side streets off of it. And since it's all single and two-family homes with driveways, there aren't any parking problems. The only problem we do have is the road is two way, but isn't really wide enough for that, so people who do park in the street sometimes pull up on the sidewalk to keep their side mirrors from getting clipped (me, I'm grateful I now have a car with a side mirror you can fold flat; the old car had the mirror ripped off three or four times).

We NEVER see meter maids up here. Well, up until about 40 minutes ago, when a BTD van pulled up and parked on the wrong side of the road. Dour meter maid (hmm, are there any other kinds?) got out, promptly dashed out a ticket on her ticket gizmo for one of our neighbors, whose car is partly up on the sidewalk (which still had plenty of room for somebody to walk on). I saw her eying another neighbor's car across the street. Tried to beat her across, get the neighbor out, but either his bell doesn't work or he wasn't home. Another victory for the city coffers!

The meter maid looked around, didn't see any other nefarious evil doers afoot, got into her illegally parked van and zoomed off.

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Comments

You would think they would have their hands full ticketing new residents and their family members taking up difficult to come by spots in BH.

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A cop gave me a ticket for the samething in JP last year. Everyone has to do it on my street or risk having your car hit by trucks, vans, garbage trucks, large SUVs, etc. In fact, my car was hit twice last year in this very scenario. I contested the ticket and lost. Lame.

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Virtually every department in the city has seen their headcount slashed in recent years - except traffic enforcement that has gone from 180 parking attendants and supervisors to about 220. It's not about enforcing regulations anymore - it's becoming a major source of incremental revenue for the city.

As a protest I've taken to feeding a quarter in the meter if I see an expired one with a meter person following close behind.

Be careful where and how you park these days - forewarned is forearmed.

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Consider yourself lucky if you live in a Boston neighborhood where this already isn't a 24/7, 7 days a week issue for you. Welcome to Boston!

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I had a dour looking meter maid pull up in front of my house today in a van...park with her passenger side wheels up on the curb, then get out and dump a taco (or a messy sandwich?) down the front of her shirt. I was expecting her to go ticket people for something but it was just a lunch stop apparently -- she must have already hit her quota.

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So the city is wrong to ticket people for parking on the sidewalk? I have lived in many neighborhoods and wished the city was stricter about it. If your car or truck is too fat too fit onto the free, city subsidized parking on the street, the alternate shouldn't be to park on the sidewalk. Risk getting clipped or park elsewhere. Or, dont drive such a fat vehicle. This is like people who park in front of hydrants or bus stops or bike lanes and are incredulous that car storage shouldn't take precedence over everything else.

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If my car was any thinner it would be a Schwinn.

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One of the cars is a Scion. Doesn't get much smaller than that. You should really drive around some of the side streets in Roslindale sometime - many of the streets were built more than 100 years ago and would be one way if only the neighborhood were built in a grid.

If I were parked like that and had gotten a ticket, yeah, I would pay it, because, yes, I would be in the wrong.

And I would still grumble why, in a city that has chronic issues in much more crowded neighborhoods, a meter maid decided to come down our nowheresville street for the first time ever (well, since we moved in, way back in the 1990s).

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They could have gone to this street because of a resident complaint.

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But if so, must've been at another end of the street - nobody within several houses of us would complain because we all park a car in the street (not all on the sidewalk ...).

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People shouldn't park on the sidewalk.

How do we decide how much of the width is enough for pedestrians, and how much is for cars? The usual way around here is for a city engineer to specify where the curb should go, and cars have to stay on one side of it.

If the road isn't wide enough, then parking shouldn't be allowed on one side. Or if the sidewalk is wider than it has to be, then it can be narrowed to make the road wider.

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Given the choice, I'd rather finance a jobs program for engineers than a jobs program for meter maids.

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I think there is a typo in your title. I think it is supposed to read: "Meter maid does job - Tickets car parked illegally."

Obstructing the sidewalk in any way is a crappy thing to do.

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They got me as I went in to Arch street Church on Ash Wednesday. I still said a prayer for them to the patron saint of vultures.

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A few things:
1. I'm sure no matter what the original disposition of the BTD employee, years of dealing with a city full of exceptional individuals (as in, everyone thinks they should be the exception to the rule) will tend to make one dour. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. If you disagree, then who will give tickets to cars parked in front of hydrants?
2. Agree with Pete Nice that someone may have complained. You say there was enough room to walk- was there enough room for a wheelchair to pass? At one time this was an issue in Hyde Park, where people were parking on the sidewalk and it was creating an issue, particularly for the disabled.
3. Does the fact that you live in a quiet neighborhood make it more legal to park on the sidewalk than if you lived in a noisy neighborhood? If parking on the sidewalk is illegal, then people who do it are bound to get a ticket from time to time. Not sure what your complaint is, really, except...
4. Is it legal for a BTD or BPD car to park any which way while doing their job, or must they also park legally and so forth? Could make it difficult to write tickets if they have to also find a legal parking space while they do it, especially in some neighborhoods.

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1. No, I would not want to work as a parking enforcement officer.

2. Yes, perhaps somebody did complain. No, I would not fight the ticket if I had gotten one.

3. Not trying to argue we're somehow more special than anybody else. Am trying to argue that it's odd on a street where parking is not an issue and where we've never seen parking enforcement before, we suddenly get visited by the parking lady.

4. Middle of the day on a quiet street in the middle of nowhere? There were plenty of spaces. She wouldn't even have had to parallel park - just pull over to the right. But she didn't. Yes, I do find it annoying she's doing something she's giving out tickets for.

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Adam!! How dare you question our valiant parking first responders!! If they didn't have the leeway to park anyway they damn well please, tickets may fail to be written!! Remember this a post-9-11 world we live in -- any one of those cars could be a bomb!! They must receive swift justice by these selfless heroes who put their lives on the line everyday!!

Wise-assing aside, I once parked in what I thought was a legal spot on Newbury Street and while trying to pay for a parking sticker at one of the new kiosks (well, they were new at the time) I saw a parking enforcement person ticketing my car. I freaked because I thought he was just doing it before I could get back in time. He sheepishly pointed up to one of the four signs on the pole that scoped out the hours that parking was allowed at that particular spot whereupon I felt like a schmuck for crabbing at him. He then politely said "hey I don't like this job, but it's all I got" -- and I felt like an even bigger dickhead.

No, I would not want to to work as a parking enforcement officer either.

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for trying to rescue them from the ticket. And you definitely have a point about the illegal parking of the BTD vehicle.
Chances are they won't be back again for another few years. Ever park in the Roslindale square lot for more than the permissible two hours? I've done it probably six times in my life, but have only gotten a ticket for it once. Sometimes it seems like they periodically decide to send a message or something.
Do parking enforcement officers (who, I'm told, come in both male and female versions) really have "quotas", meaning they would get punished or something if there's an outbreak of law-abiding?

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People are wierd, and will call the BPD or the BTD for minor things like non resident parking in areas where there are plenty of spaces, parking in the wrong direction, or parking on the curb, or for more than 2 hours.

Then the BTD or officer will go down and ticket the entire street, thinking that it is only fair that everyone gets a ticket instead of just the car that one person complained about.

I am going to bet that is what happend in this case, especially if you haven't seen the BTD there before.

But I always worry that I am going to get a ticket when I park in the commuter station lot in Rosie Village. I have yet to get one there though.

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On the other side of the Citizens Bank, so all of 10 seconds away. But there is a 2-hour limit and BTD does enforce that from time to time.

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(which still had plenty of room for somebody to walk on)

And how much is plenty Adam? A hair less than 4 feet would be a federal ADA violation.

Sidewalks are made for walking. If you're worried that someone will hit your mirror....then set up a camera and call the cops if there is a hit and run.

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Everywhere there's a tree or telephone pole (and this is Roslindale, so plenty of both), there's a pinch point that probably makes the sidewalk inaccessible to somebody in a wheelchair (or pushing an urban assault stroller).

As I've already mentioned, the ticketing was not an issue for me (my car was parked perfectly legally, with a folded-in mirror). I just found it very odd that, after all these years, suddenly today we get a visit from a meter maid (and, yes, I do feel badly for the neighbors).

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One note - most people who do this just put two wheels on the curb. For the pedestrian there's zero impact to the amount of sidewalk they have access to. Anyhow, narrow streets should only have parking on one side.

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I've caught the meter maid handing out tickets on my street a few times. The street sounds much like yours except maybe even narrower enough that people can't go 2 wide, so nobody feels the need to pull onto the sidewalk. There's always spaces open and yet they still come down and enforce registration/inspection/residency. They definitely come through at different times of day though because sometimes I'll just see the tickets to know they've been through.

They usually park the BTD van at a hydrant at the end of my street and 2-3 of them get out and spread out on foot from there to cover the whole neighborhood. I've never seen the fire department break the van's windows out though.

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...they're in CAHOOTS!!

Which is better than being in culottes.

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That would only be true if your hairs were 12 inches wide.

ADA requires 36-inch sidewalks (that's three feet).

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If the city employed 220 traffic cops to enforce the traffic and pedestrian laws on motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians (not to mention Segway-ists), just think how much more livable/safe the city could be. And given the behavior of our fellow Bostonians, it would be a near limitless revenue opportunity.

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I hate meter-maids so much. Its just a terrible, irrational anger I direct only towards these people. I glare at them when i see them in the street, feed quarters into expired meters when I see them coming (then i wave), and if I ever catch one parking illegally they'll be on CitizenConnect so fast they won't know what hit them.

I can't imagine what it must take to do this disgraceful job for a living. I'm almost afraid to run into a meter maid in a social situation because i'll probably just chew them out.

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How sad for you. Maybe they took this job because it's the only crappy job they can find and they're trying to cover rent, pay for their kid to eat, pay for an elderly parents medical bills? Not everyone is born with the brains to get a decent job. Keep parking on the curb, loser.

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. . . meter guy a little bit- nice guy- daughter just graduated from one of the state's fine public colleges. From the Dominican Republic originally if I'm not mistaken.

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I used to drive a truck for a construction supply co.
I had a pick up on Bennington St in Eastie one morning.
Sweeping that particular morning. Against the curb with the hazards on.
Saw the sweeper and the meter maid coming about a block away. Didn't hold them up for a split second.
Strapped down and drove around the block to get behind them.
Finished loading what I had to.
SHE TURNED AROUND AND PUT A TICKET ON THE WINDSHIELD ANYWAY AFTER I MOVED.
I moved so I wouldn't hold them up.
No sympathy whatsoever.
I hope that one got run over by a bus........twice.
First,last and only ticket I ever got in Boston.

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I think there may be another name for this - entitlement, perhaps?

I have often wondered what sort of person takes a job where they just write tickets where they are told to and have absolutely no ability to not do so when there aren't even any signs! (like the person ticketing my car for a resident parking violation when there were no resident-only signs anywhere in the area ...).

That's a person who doesn't have a lot of choices in life, and is stuck out there to take crap from people who are nasty haters themselves and need to feel big - but lack the nads to take the real idiots behind them to task.

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dont worry about where you park if your trying to save your side mirrors, the drunken parade begins this weekend! mirrors and antennas beware!

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Get the Citizen's Connect app, snap a picture of the illegally parked parking enforcement vehicle, and send it off to the powers that be in hopes they won't be so hypocritical next time. That's really all you can do.

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What might have been nice if they were going to start ticketing an area that they haven't been enforcing for years (ever?) would be to flyer the cars on the street and tell them that as of September 1 BTD would be stopping by based on a neighbor's complaint, ADA issues etc.

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I've been parking my motorcycle in the same (non)spot in the financial district for a year now without issue, and in the past 3 weeks have received 6 tickets. Last night, before reading this post, I talked to another motorcyclist who parks a few blocks over and he said a meter maid told him the supervisor told them to step it up. 3rd party information for sure, but it explains in the increased presence.

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The other day a vehicle was parked at the fire hydrant by Old South Meeting Hall. The back of the vehicle had a sticker for the fire fighters union. This paradox of a fire fighter's vehicle parked at a fire hydrant was worthy of comparison to those nasty temporal paradoxes in the Star Trek universe. In fact I figured I was in an alternate dimension where up is down and public safety employees are actually public destruction employees. How else to explain a fire fighter blocking a fire hydrant?

I also wonder about the many vehicles that are parked on the sidewalks in spite of wide streets. I've never seen tickets on them. Or the cops who park on the sidewalks of streets because, well they're Boston cops, so they can (especially when on details). It would be funny if meter maids actually ticketed the cop's who park on sidewalks so they can get a sandwich, visit friend, get a payoff....

If ever there was a city where the consideration toward others by most drivers is matched only by the consideration sharks have for other fishies it is Boston.

I wish that instead of playing wimpy versions of chicken that drivers would actually go for blood. Then drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists all would be justified in fulfilling the homicidal death wish that so often seems to drive so many Bostonians when on the street or sidewalks.

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...jeez louise.

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