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Citizen complaint of the day: Some joker's sticking fake parking tickets on car windshields; you know they're fake because they make BTD sound warm and cuddly

What looks like a parking ticket is really a 'positive affirmation'

One of three photos posted with the complaint via Boston Reddit.

A perplexed citizen filed a 311 complaint today about the fake BTD parking ticket he or she got on Bromfield Street downtown today:

Fake tickets impersonating official Boston City Parking tickets are being posted around the city.

Look carefully, and you'll see that the recipient owes nothing and is instead just being offered some "positive affirmation."

Some quick investigatory reporting (OK, OK, we followed the links on the uploaded photos at the complaint to both a Boston Reddit discussion and to an Instagram account) shows that, no, BTD has not discovered its softer side and it is not offering a "there, there" to the long suffering parkers of Boston.

Instead, the "tickets" are the work of Ethan LeBlanc, a New Orleans native who is currently a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts:

In a world of stress it’s always fun to receive a reminder of how beautiful you all are. All 800 tickets were randomly distributed on cars around Boston, Medford, and Somerville. Hope you enjoy.



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I can only see these add more stress to a persons life


Nope, this just caused people stress. Everyone who saw this “ticket” initially thought it was real and was certainly not happy. My reaction to finding out that this was just a feel good message disguised as a parking ticket would been a hearty f you to whoever did this. Stupid stunt.
There are much better ways to spread a message of joy and beauty. Try again buddy. Or not.


It should have been a real ticket considering Bromfield is part of the pedestrian zone.

No it's not. From Tremont Street, left on School, right on Province, right on Bromfield is allowed for cars. https://maps.app.goo.gl/L5yApNo1jSowevpr6

The piece of Bromfield upstream from Province isn't designed like it's pedestrianized, though you can't really get there unless you pass a Pedestrian Zone sign somewhere else.

Much like the stupid stencils, the creator of the fake citations goes to sleep thinking they're an awesome person and innovative artist. It's performance art for an audience of one.

It's also an advertisement for their IG feed, no different than an ad for auto-detailing, etc.


… people who dump their cars on public streets, but this rubs me the wrong way.

This is one of those stupid practical jokes that are just plain mean and not funny.


The real joke here is that parking laws are never enforced in Boston.


Only a small fraction of illegally parked vehicles are ever ticketed.

Imagine though, if every parking and moving violation in Boston did get fined. Within a week the city coffers would be overflowing and Boston could cancel all property taxes and still have enough left over to make the T the finest, the most state of the art in all the world. Not to mention make the entire T fare free.


Biggest issue is that funding for the T doesn't comes from the Boston. Boston only recently even got a seat at the table

Because BTD doesn’t work after Friday evening.


This project is obnoxious on so many levels.
I once took a real parking ticket off a random person's car and paid it for them online, and they were none the wiser.
If there is any good to this project it is that this news story reminds me I should do it again.

(I'm not wealthy but the delight of sparing someone a bad day was worth 40 bucks)


… to discourage people from parking illegally. So you defeated that purpose.


Why? Give to charity instead of encouraging drivers to break the law.

In the words of Nelson from The Simpsons, HA HA!

But this actually happened a few years ago: an artist got a city grant to include drawings of yoga poses on Cambridge parking tickets. https://forecastpublicart.org/parking-tickets-that-come-with-calming-yog...

This ticket is like the fake scratch tickets you give someone...they win a million dollars, get excited, and then read the back of the fake ticket and get very upset when they have to cash it at the bank of Santa Claus (or something similar).

There's a difference between something that gets a smile and a chuckle, and something done for one's own amusement without considering the consequences, and this "positive affirmation" parking ticket fits the latter. This effort was so twee, self-satisfied and "made for likes" it will likely have the opposite effect - people with clean driving records (or those with several unpaid tickets) flung into a panic, and getting extremely furious when they read the ticket.


It's like the people who spray paint "You are great" on private property. It doesn't make anyone but the tagger feel good. Certainly not the people who have to deal with it.

Positive affirmation only works if it doesn't come at the expense of others. Otherwise it's just graffiti, litter, or advertisements.


What a bunch of curmudgeons we have here! Sure for 10 seconds you’re pissed because you got a ticket but then, hey look, it’s not a ticket at all! This is a project meant to get people to lighten up. It isn’t working with this audience but hopefully others won’t take it so seriously.

Of all the thousands of things they could put under the windshield that might make people happy they choose the singular thing that makes people angry. Such fun!

Why not put a nice drawing or print on the car? People might actually be happy to see that.


This is a project meant to get people to lighten up.

I think it's a "project" to mess with people, no matter what passive-aggressive window dressing you put on it.


What the artist did was forge an instrument of bureaucracy that strikes fear in the hearts of many and turned it into something for his personal amusement. "Oh, look, you're in trouble now - nope, fooled ya! Here's some positive vibes!" would not be the way I'd read that ticket. It was a self-satisfied, obnoxious, borderline mean stunt. This is not a case where you say "lighten up!" to someone who thought they were one ticket away from a license suspension or marring a clean driving record.

Not all of us are grumps here at Universal Hub, but some of us have a gimlet eye for meshugas/shenanigans/horsehockey. While it wasn't dangerous, this was one of those incidents we can't brush away with "lighten up, I was only kidding."

Just another element of Boston's parking assholery. Don't forget to get your space savers winterized.

Now's a good time to get your all-season traffic cones out.

This is a cute & fun project. OH MY GOD, for FIFTEEN SECONDS you thought you had a parking ticket — but you DON’T! Is the residual (sympathetic) cortisol overwhelming our commenters’ brains?!

...you're ok with people messing with you whenever they want, as much as they want, as long as it's only in fifteen second increments?

Exactly. This is funny. Get a grip, folks. Smile for fvck's sake.

Nobody has ever smiled because someone told them to.

They way your boss saying you're fired than claiming it's a joke is funny.

I worked at a company that had a manager like that. He didn't last two months. He was universally despised.