here, in its irrational entirety, is the text of my argument to the NYC Parking Violations Bureau that I should NOT have to pay the $115-and-growing parking ticket that I got IN ADDITION to being towed.

Somehow I suspect they will not feel sorry for me, but I’m sure that there are MANY of you out there who can vouch for the fact that I really AM this clueless . . .


I was visiting friends and was searching for a place to park. I had been driving all night, and it was about 6:30am when I got to the city. After numerous times around the block, I found a street (Bergen Street, near 4th Ave) that had a spot just beyond a “no parking” sign that was pointing in one direction. There was no sign and no indication in the other direction. I saw a bus stop and a fire hydrant, but both were sufficiently far away from me that I felt it must be okay. I have lived in NYC in the past, but have never owned a car when I was living there. I guess that I also thought that there was supposed to be a yellow painted curb that indicated a “no-parking” zone, and the curb was not painted, which to me served as another confirmation that I was okay where I was. When I went back to get my car the next day, I was quite surprised to see that it wasn’t there. 😮 It was at this point that my friend explained to me that the “bus stop” extended all the way to the next sign. This was inconceivable to me, as the space in question was easily the length of at least two busses, and again, I thought I was reading the sign correctly. (No parking going one way and no sign pointing the other way must have meant that I COULD park there . . . ) I actually do have pictures and I know it said not to file online if you have pictures, but I have been putting this off and am coming up on a deadline again. But basically, my defense is that I truly am that dumb. I was utterly convinced that I was parking in a legitimate parking spot, and even assured my friend when he asked, “no, it was a good spot, it didn’t have a sign, I double- and triple-checked.” I was not in any way trying to park illegally–I truly believed that I was in a legitimate parking space. I am not really sure how, as someone who is not a city resident, I would have known to assume that the bus stop sign was meant for me all the way back. We have bus stops (such as they are) here in Grand Rapids, and where I parked my car that day in Brooklyn would have been more than enough of a distance here in the sorry Midwest . . . I won’t talk about the summer trees in full bloom that blocked my view of the sign on the bus stop . . . I just would appeal to you for grace in this situation. You have already received a lovely sum of 185 (which I had to borrow from my friend, and which I am still selling plasma to pay back) from me, along with some publicity on my blog . . . (seriously. It’s one of my most-googled entries!) If I am found guilty, I do not have any idea how or when I would be able to pay you . . . so again, I beg you for mercy in this situation. Thank you for hearing me out.


Lorraine Woodward


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