Every so often a person is presented with a problem that doesn't seem to have a good solution.
My wife Charli has been issued one of these situations and probably won't end up with the results she was hoping for. Because I can, I thought it would interesting to hear your opinions on how you would deal with it, if you were in charge. Or, if your city actually has a plan in place already that addresses this same issue.
Ok - I suppose now would be a good time to explain the problem.
The other night Charli came out to watch Pete and I play at the Veranda Wine Bar. Prior to coming out, she'd had a VERY busy day and never had the opportunity to eat a good meal. After only 2 glasses of wine, she realized that she was feeling the effects of the alcohol and wisely handed me her car keys. We decided to leave her car parked at the meter for the night and pick it up in the morning. I figured this wouldn't be a problem since the meters are not enforced during the weekend.
What I hadn't noticed, was that half a block down the street was a sign that was posted, "NO PARKING BETWEEN 2 A.M. AND 7 A.M." which is obviously a larger override to the weekend non-enforcement rules posted on the meters. Needless to say, when I picked up our car in the morning, there was a $20 parking ticket waiting for us.
The problem with this kind of enforcement, is that it encourages people who are responsible enough to know they shouldn't drive while intoxicated, to drive anyway - so they don't incur a $20 thank you note. Especially if you're already paying another $15-20 for a cab in some cases.
I know what the city is going to say. They need the streets cleared for sweeping and snow removal. And that brings me to my question:
What kind of policy should a city have that encourages people to leave their cars when they've had too much to drink - but still allows for the street maintenance they desire?
Or is there no solution? That's what I'm curious about. How does your city handle this? What would you do?
It seems to me that the number of cars being abandoned overnight would be few and far between. Most people don't want the hassle of having to find someone to drive them downtown to retrieve their car the next morning - especially since they would probably be nursing a hangover from the reason they left their car there in the first place.
But if someone was actually responsible enough to decide to go through all that, I would hope there would be some kind concession.
Fining them $20 isn't what I had in mind.