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Bring Jimmy Justice to Boston

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  January 8, 2009 03:30 PM

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Jimmy Justice, the so-called renegade who films New York City parking cops parking illegally, wasn't there for my run-in with the Boston Transportation Department this week.

On Tuesday, one of Boston's gracious parking agents whipped a K-turn right in front of me on Beacon Street, blocking two lanes with a massive Ford Econoline. Enraged, I held my horn down, which compelled her to complete the illegal maneuver even more slowly. The battle between the City of Boston and my nasally Suzuki SX4 lasted five glorious seconds, a cry for all motorists against those infuriating neon orange parking tickets.

When the dust settled, I inched a few feet further toward a busy intersection, held up again by a red light. She drove through it. How about a little visit to Beantown, Jimmy?

If that's not enough, here's some more pleasant parking news from the Globe Metro staff on increased fines at bus stops:

MBTA bus riders will get some help stepping from the door to the curb because of a new law signed by Governor Deval Patrick this week.

The law raises tickets to $100 for parking at bus stops. Under the previous policy, each city sets its own fine. Boston’s is $55.

MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas called the signing of the bill, which was approved by the Legislature last week, “great news.”

“One of the biggest problems we have is people not taking bus stops seriously,” he said. “It’s a safety issue. You don’t want people running out 10 or 15 feet into the roadway or into traffic to try to get on a bus,” he said.

Grabauskas said that when a bus can’t get close to the curb, it also makes it difficult for disabled people to board.

“If you happen to be in a wheelchair, or a parent with a child in a stroller, it can mean it’s nearly impossible and very dangerous to get on board a bus,” he said.

He said the increased fine, which will apply both to the MBTA’s more than 8,000 bus stops and to bus stops for regional transit authorities statewide, was necessary to get people’s attention.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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82 comments so far...
  1. Apparently, the BTD does not even have to present a ticket to you before charging with double parking either. I got two in the past couple of months plus late fees for citations which I was never given! Probably my own fault for doing business in Boston, but it doesn't seem reasonable for BTD to be tagging plates without notice. Who knows. They could just be keeping themselves on the job!

    Posted by James B. January 8, 09 04:15 PM
  1. What about the bus drivers who do not bother to pull over to the curb in order to pick up and discharge passengers? They block traffic without a care in the world, the entitlement is overwhelming.


    Posted by Janice January 8, 09 04:17 PM
  1. I am okay with the fine for parking in the bus stop, but I think we should assess the same fine to drivers of the buses who do not pull into bus stops and block the traffic on the streets!

    Posted by Chris K January 8, 09 04:48 PM
  1. why bother?

    Posted by somebodysmom January 8, 09 04:49 PM
  1. I have an idea. Don't park in bus stops! Problem solved!

    Posted by y8s January 8, 09 06:14 PM
  1. Now how about towing vehicles parked right up against (and sometimes on) cross walks? They make it impossible to see if someone has entered the cross walk or not and then you are the one ticketed for not stopping to let pedestrians cross even though you have absolutely no way to see them until you've cleared the vehicle blocking the view.

    Posted by scorp508 January 8, 09 07:54 PM
  1. I parked on Huntington Ave in summer after meters expired for a night shift. The flower pots hung from each pole directly in front of the street sweeping signs. I was towed and wanted to contest the ticket and fee. I waited for hrs in waiting room, the first person you meet with explains your rights, which include photo, video and verbal as evidence, but you have only one chance to argue case, no appeals. When you've already waited 3 hrs in waiting room and are taking time off of work, you don't want to have to go get pictures and come back another day. So I argued my case verbally. Not enough evidence! Next!

    Posted by Patrick S January 8, 09 07:58 PM
  1. The BTD should start ticketing pedestrians that cross the street against the light. Does anyone even know what the button on the crossing light is for anymore?? Wait, how could they when they can't even figure out the difference between the flashing orange "stop" hand and the white "go" hand!

    Posted by Carol January 8, 09 07:59 PM
  1. How about training the MBTA drivers on proper driving techniques...I can account for more than a dozen times when the buses pull out into traffic without signal. They feel as if they own the road. They cause accidents everyday in the city of Boston. The drivers are extremely rude and discourteous to surrounding traffic. Time for citations to these bus drivers.

    Posted by BOSTONDRIVER January 8, 09 08:38 PM
  1. What about the city plows that keep filling the handicap ramps on sidewalks with snow after we shovel them clean.

    Posted by Jon January 8, 09 10:09 PM
  1. We could lose all the tolls in the State and probably lower Property Taxes too, if they would just start handing out JAYWALKING tickets!!! I drive in the city all day every day and pedestrians do more to mess up traffic than trucks, buses and cabs put together. People wander around as if there were no such thing as traffic lights and crosswalks are a mere suggestion. In New York, the busiest city in the world, the light turns green and 50 cars go through the intersection. People are glued to the sidewalk. In Boston I sit through light cycle after light cycle while endless streams of people zig zag their way through traffic. It is ridiculous. Oh and let's make the bike couriers a little bit responsible for their actions. At least make them go the right way down one way streets!!!

    Posted by Billy January 8, 09 11:28 PM
  1. honestly, what has deval done. he pandered to a democratic state angry at a negative republican national administration. million dollar party for himself. You'll never, ever get a higher office fool.

    Posted by seefranco January 9, 09 12:05 AM
  1. Here's a good one - Last summer my friend ran outside to move her car so she didn't get a ticket (street cleaning day). She was stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn onto Columbus Ave. and a car slammed into her. Her left wheel buckled underneath the vehicle, rendering her car undriveable. The impact left the car on the side of the road so it was out of the way. She went back to her house to get her cell phone and call a tow truck. When she came back to her car (

    Posted by jmcneil January 9, 09 08:01 AM
  1. And what about those incosiderate individuals at he MWRA who pull out onto route 30 without stopping, then drive like no one is behind them, no directionals, below the speed limit........the dude in truck with plate #406 is such an individual.

    Posted by Reaper January 9, 09 08:21 AM
  1. Having lived in Boston for over 20 years now, I've had my share of parking tickets. I've paid the ones I deserved (overstaying the meter; parking in a bus stop -- sorry! the stop was new and I didn't see the sign!) and appealed the ones I didn't (the no parking sign that had been knocked down in a snow storm; BTD missed my out-of-town mom's handicapped placard on the dashboard in a severe rainstorm) and have always found the hearing officers to be professional and the process to be reasonably prompt. If you are courteous and respectful, they will be too!

    On the busstop parking fine increase, I'd feel better about it if the buses actually USED the stops. I second the commenter who called for more ticketing of pedestrians for jaywalking or crossing against the light. Particularly in this bad weather, people seem to just fling themselves into the street -- maybe at or close to a crosswalk but often not -- expecting drivers to see them and be able to stop on a dime. I'm amazed there aren't more casualties! A lot of people seem to have forgotten that when the light is green, traffic has the right of way, regardless of the crosswalk.

    Posted by JP Gal January 9, 09 08:44 AM
  1. They should give the MBTA bus drivers a digital camera to take a picture of cars parking in the bus zone. They can send the violator a ticket with a picture as proof. Why do people park in the bus zone? It is so selfish and dangerous to MBTA passengers...

    Posted by brighton_corgi January 9, 09 09:13 AM
  1. MBTA buses drivers brazenly and frequently run solid red lights at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue, Ashmont Street and Talbot Avenue.

    Posted by Ashmont January 9, 09 09:15 AM
  1. Does anyone live in East Boston? You could probably pay off the National Deficit on a Monday at Maverick Square. There is no regard for lights, cars cross walks, buss or anything. These people really think there are living back in the village of El Sagundo.

    Posted by Steven January 9, 09 09:52 AM
  1. Jp gal is right on the money..I have appealed all my tickets which were unfair, and won all except for one, which was an annoying ticket for parking more than 1 ft from the curb. I am all for more ticketing for double parking..especially on busy streets, and for the ticketing of pedestrians. The whole idea should be to better the flow of traffic, which is good for pedestrians & drivers & parkers alike. The city should spend more time getting revenue from people causing problems, and less for meaningless violations.

    Posted by mike rosenthal January 9, 09 09:56 AM
  1. I have never had a problem with the caseworkers at City Hall. I have dealt with two- they are professional, intelligent and just doing their job. I remember one guy was a young professional just like me, lived in the same neighborhood as I and knew exactly what I was talking about. I came in with pictures and a typed up appeal, he tossed my ticket out the window within five minutes. The other time, I spent a bit longer arguing my case and in the end- the caseworker said I was wrong and deserved the ticket. He waived it anyway, I guess because of my argument or something...

    Either way, my issue has continuously been with the BTD street officers. I caught one writing a ticket from their car at one point for me not having a resident sticker, which was clearly on the back of my window- if they had taken a second to actually look. I also caught them starting to tow me one summer morning on cleaning day. The only problem- it was 7:45 in the morning and "no parking" due to street cleaning didn't start until 8 AM. I told them to unhook me immediately or I would call the police. The gruff bulldog-ish BTD woman told me I should have been leaving earlier... right. That's when my suspicions on the true meaning of street cleaning took hold ($$ for tow companies and revenue for the city). Since moving to Somerville with an off-street spot, I have been quite happy....

    Posted by Bynxers January 9, 09 10:01 AM
  1. I live in Mission Hill for a while and one day was looking for a parking spot. I was on Huntington Ave near Huntington seafood. The T was next to me and I saw someone in a spot put their blinker on to leave the spot. I put my flashers on and waited for them to pull out. While doing so a BTD car came up behind me and because the T was next to me couldn't go around me. They began to honk at me and were gesturing out their window. I threw my truck in park and hopped out to "chat" with the person. When I approached the window they began to yell at me that I was blocking traffic and to move it along. I explained that I was waiting for a parking space and there was no need to honk and gesture at me. They asked if I'd like a ticket. I was enraged at this point and was screaming that I was only waiting for a parking spot. At this point the T trolley had moved and she was now messing up traffic by not moving around me. I got back in my truck and parked and traffic began to move around her. The BTD car sat there blocking traffic for a few moments and I gave them a gesture of my own as they finally pulled away. I hate the BTD.

    Posted by angry_parker January 9, 09 10:25 AM
  1. I'm guessing some of these people posting are the ones who are almost running over pedestrians as they are crossing. Yes, I wait until I get the signal to cross but that does not seem to matter. Many drivers will go right through red lights without thinking twice. Others will roll right up to the intersection and make a right turn without stopping. It doesn't seem to matter to them that people are legally crossing the street. I've almost been run over a few times by a few of them.

    As for parking, that's a whole other disaster in this area!

    Posted by commuter January 9, 09 10:49 AM
  1. I am 3-0 when dealing with the city of Boston in terms of arguing Parking Tickets (my one loss was in Arlington) and 2-0 when dealing with moving violations. I will share my experience with all of you in hopes that it will help fighting “the machine”.

    The BTD are one of the worst organizations on the face of the planet. Their sole purpose is to make the city money knowing full well that people will just pay the ticket rather than miss work. I've seen a BTD employee give a woman a parking ticket 2 seconds after she pulled into a parking spot and was looking for change to put in the meter. I've seen a BTD employee give a woman a ticket while sitting in her car waiting for her friends (no resident parking sticker) instead of asking her to move along.

    Let’s face the facts people. We are in a proverbial war with the BTD employees, they want your money and you don’t want to give it to them. There are certain things you will ALWAYS need to assume about parking in Boston.
    1. There are very few “free” parking spots in the city. If you find one, be very suspicious.
    2. You should assume that nearly every place you park in Boston is resident parking. Saying the signs were covered, missing, unreadable, etc are not valid excuses.
    3. Resist the urge to yell, scream, condescend the BTD employee (especially if you park in the neighborhood you live in) or you will become a target of their ire

    Pictures are worth a thousand words. My experience was that I had renewed my registration online; the state allows you to print out a paragraph that explains you are fully registered within the eyes of the state. I placed the paper in full view on my dashboard. I got a ticket placed on the opposite side of where the paper was located, so I moved the paper to the other side of the dashboard. I was soon given another ticket on the opposite side of where the paper was located. This went on for 3 days, quickly creating a $60 tab. I took pictures (something easily done with today’s camera phones) every time this happened. The city of Boston allows for you to argue your case online via a web form. I explained the situation and referenced the transaction # of the online registration. Two of the tickets were dismissed on that fact alone, I even got a response saying that the BTD didn’t do anything wrong (I still have the letter). The third ticket actually had the wrong plate number on it. The point being, facts! (Usually in the form of pictures) goes a long way with people who sit there and listen to people lie all day. Checking your emotions at the door will also go a long way.

    When dealing with moving violations the law is pretty clear. There has to be a number in the box or a checkbox marked off on the ticket. I was once given a speeding ticket in a heavily populated neighborhood because the cop thought I was going to fast. I got a ticket for $120. I went to the district court (in this case Brighton) and sat in front of a Magistrate. (It’s usually in a small room with the magistrate and a cop). I told her there was no proof that I was actually speeding. After a well argued point about curb weight and perception of speed (another story) the charges were dropped because the cop didn’t put a number in the box (i.e. no proof). Total transaction time was 2 hours (3/4 of that was waiting). Traffic violations take up a lot of the court’s time, if it is your first (non-criminal) violation; you will most likely sit in front of a magistrate and have a very good chance of beating the charge while only missing a few hours of work. Things change when dealing with your second offense and when the state police are involved. You have a 90% of getting your fine reduced if you show up in front of a judge even if you are guilty, keep that in mind.

    BTD is easily thwarted by technicalities i.e. wrong plate number, wrong car color, model etc. so read your tickets carefully. I hope this helps some of you. Good luck.

    Posted by Morgan January 9, 09 10:56 AM
  1. I remember some time ago I received a ticket for street cleaning in the theater district. The sign said street cleaning at 2AM. Knowing this i made sure i was at my car at 1:55. BTD kindly gave me a ticket that read 2:10AM. They blatantly lied on the ticket, thank you for your honesty BTD. I wrote a letter to BTD outlining my case and they said i have no proof.

    Thank you BTD, I hope the residents of Boston treat you with the same honesty.

    Posted by Sherif January 9, 09 11:41 AM
  1. How about this- I ran out of gas on the Mass Pike. I'd been stuck in a huge backup in a work zone (where nothing seemed to be happening other than a cone crew needing work) then I couldn't get into the service area because a cop cut me and a bunch of other cars off as he suddenly pulled out from the breakdown lane. Then same cop showed up a few minutes later, balled me out, and gave me a $50 "moving violation" ticket for inadequate fuel.

    Posted by Andy January 9, 09 12:04 PM
  1. I have had the same unfortunate experience fighting a ticket only to end up paying it for lack of evidence, lesson learned. The next time I was unjustly ticketed I took pictures and won and had 2 tickets given the same week dismissed. The hearing officer told me that it is often the police officers that give the tickets out unjustified not the BTD and in my case I had been ticketed by an officer for parking in a residential zone which I was not but was only one space away from that zone.

    Posted by fightback January 9, 09 12:17 PM
  1. Like another poster, I've gotten my share of tickets. For the one that I feel I didn't deserve, I appealed by writing a respectful letter that noted the circumstances and that I always have paid prior tickets on time. Ticket dismissed!

    In another instance, I hurried to my car at 6:58 to move it before a 7am deadline. When I arrived at my car, a tow truck was parked in front waiting for the 7am to come around. With I sigh of relief I jumped in the car, turned the key, and nothing happened. The battery was dead! So, I asked the tow truck driver for a jump, which he gave me and I was on my way!

    Posted by Formerly of Beacon Hill January 9, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Is there any higher authority where we can escalate unfair practice by these BTD people. My experience was more like as if I am robbed. When I was out of United States, they towed my Car and penalized me for each day for almost a month. I end up paying my complete weeks salary. How can they be so inconsiderate? How can they take advantage of helplessness of someone? Why they call it hearing when a machine like deaf person sits in front of who just readout for the sake of recording?

    Posted by Sagar January 9, 09 12:47 PM
  1. THE BTD: frauds who fraudulently generate income for the city of Boston.
    writing tickets without notice to operator; writing tickets incorrectly, and occasionally working, when the boss is watching. I see these bums all the time in the North End. They are the worst; when it is cold out, they traverse one street and call it quits. When it is warm out they are no where to be found. try and ask them a question and they think you are trying to attack them. frauds all of them.

    Posted by JunkerLunker January 9, 09 12:51 PM
  1. how about parking legally and going through the proper channels to report BTD infractions?

    I have it on good authority that justice is served to employees who break the rules with regularity.

    Posted by Ken January 9, 09 01:06 PM
  1. I parked on the street near work last year at a broken meter. Usually I park in the lot, but it's a tandem lot where we block each other in. No outside spots available when I arrived. My mother was dying and I knew that I'd need to leave work early, so I took the spot. Sure enough, I had a ticket 4 hours later as you can't park for more than 2 hours even at a broken meter. I drove off to stay with my mom until she died later that night. The next week I wrote a nice letter, included the obituary blah blah. Got a notice that they did not accept my plea. I guess human beings don't read the letters. On principal, I went in person and the gentleman forgave the ticket. I'm sure my mother was on my shoulder that day as others were coming out of the room with not as good results.

    Posted by Canyouimagine January 9, 09 01:13 PM
  1. I haven't had a problem in Boston, but in Brookline I got a ticket for parking too long. There was a posted sign "15 min parking 7:00 to 9:00AM". I was parking 9:30AM to 5PM & it was a Saturday and it wasn't like anybody was around! I haven't done anything about the ticket and now I am sure I am screwed.

    Posted by R January 9, 09 01:38 PM
  1. In Somerville, I contested a ticket for an expired meter. The meter was so yellowed that I couldn't read that it had been changed from 1 qtr/hr to 1 qtr per 1/2 hour (with the /2 just added to the existing plate so it is even harder to see). I took pictures but the hearing officer refused to look at them, what a jerk.

    Posted by R January 9, 09 01:40 PM
  1. In Medford, I forgot to put a visitor permit on my car, got a ticket. I paid the ticket one day late. Four months later I got a late fee fine! I called & asked why I have only 20 days but they have unlimited time. They just laughed.

    Posted by R January 9, 09 01:46 PM
  1. I was issued a parking ticket for parking in an HP space, of which, I later realized, there were 6 consecutive spaces on this particular street downtown. I parked there, not knowing it was an HP space, because five of the six HP signs had been mowed down by a truck or car. I know this because after finding the ticket on my car, I noticed the little stubs where the HP signs had once been, protruding up from the sidewalk, and took digital photos as proof of my innocence.

    Naturally, I protested the citation and asked for a hearing. When I was granted a hearing, the magistrate (or whatever this woman was) who heard my appeal in her office, stated she was "...not inclined so as to waive the fine for you today...". I looked at her incredulously, as she neatly folded the paperwork into a file folder, and laid them on her desk. She looked at me totally blank. That was it. Game over. No discussion, no defense, no nothing. The meter enforcement officer was right, and I was wrong. End of story, case closed.

    As I raised my voice in disbelief, and repeated back to her that "'re not so inclined TODAY???..." " How about if I come back tomorrow...will you be in a better mood then?"

    After the municipal police officer stepped into the office and asked me if there was a problem, I realized that you just can't fight city hall, here in Boston, and you will never get traffic justice. I paid the fine but have never forgotten this misjustice.

    Posted by Mike January 9, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Why not do what Gomer Pyle would have done?......"Citizen's arrest.....citizen's arrest"......ha ha ha

    Posted by PatsFanSince'63 January 9, 09 02:29 PM
  1. Junker Lunker, That's very interesting about the North End. Last year I got a notice that I had an unpaid ticket. I looked it up and it was for a street in the North End that I had never even been on in my life. With modern technology they should have to take the plate's and car's picture when issuing the ticket.
    I paid the ticket because it was cheaper than missing a day of work.

    Posted by NF January 9, 09 02:33 PM
  1. how about parking legally and going through the proper channels to report BTD infractions?
    I have it on good authority that justice is served to employees who break the rules with regularity.

    Like the ones who park on the sidewalk near New England Medical Center? I've reported them so many times over the last 5 years without any action. I've had to hire a lawyer to file a suit under the ADA laws....

    Posted by Wheelchair Don't Fly January 9, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Ditch the car and take public transportation. Problem solved!

    Posted by Al Gore January 9, 09 02:54 PM
  1. Decriminalize Parking in Boston! (and Somerville and Cambridge and surrounding fill-in-the-blank)

    And why is it so awful for a bus to double park in the street if someone has parked in their stop? Oh no! People have to walk from the bus door, touch their little toes to the street, and walk in front of a parked car to the sidewalk. Those handicap accessible ramps do go all the way to the street folks.

    $100 ticket because a car made a bus double-park for 2 minutes? $50 ticket (and possible towing depending on your neighborhood) because a street sweeper couldn't sweep 10 feet of asphalt? $50 for parking on a residential street with plenty of open spaces? Why don't we put other penalties in the same line - chop off hands for stealing, shock-therapy for adulterers, public flogging for dirty politicians... well, tough to argue against that last one.

    Posted by spirit_of_the_law January 9, 09 02:55 PM
  1. I've actually almost been hit by the idiots who make up BTD. They constantly drive the wrong way up the one way street I live on... I drive down the correct direction and here they come going up Lanark rd in Brighton the wrong way. I even said something one day, and they told me to call the cops...

    Entitled Jerks!!!!

    Posted by Swbfriar January 9, 09 04:04 PM
  1. I traveled to India 2 years ago. Boston is worse than driving in third world country. It would be nice if people actually had to take a driving course in order to get a license.

    Posted by Scott January 9, 09 04:08 PM
  1. In Cambridge/Porter there was barrels indicating that a moving truck would be there from 8am-5pm. I came home at 4:52, looked around and decided to park...i mean what can happen in 8 minutes...besides they did have all day to finish the move. Anyway...I get upstairs and go into my bedroom only to hear apprx 5 minutes later the sound of a car being lifted by a tow truck. I yell out the window to stop and run down. There was a cop, the girl who had been moving and the tow truck. At this point it was 5:01. I tried to argue with the office to no avail, and seeing that my car was already on the lift it was too late. Anyway...long story shot, I paid the tow truck $85.00 to put my car down, $35.00 ticket from the friendly cop. By that time it was 5:30 so the spot was mine.

    Question is...what [person] calls a tow truck with 5 minutes left on the clock?

    Posted by Droppin Biscuits January 9, 09 04:20 PM
  1. A few weeks ago I had pulled up in front of my residence in South Boston, which is on a side street...not a busy street. I was in my car with the car running waiting to pick up someone and as I was watching the door for the person to come out, I looked the other way to see a BTD official putting a ticket on my windshield. A ticke for double parking while I was in the car. I said something to the person and his response was "Oh, I didn't see you in the car. You can appeal the citation." Unbelievable. But yet drive or walk around this area on a Saturday night and peopel are double parked in front of bars for hours WITH NO TICKETS.

    Posted by PO'D January 9, 09 04:20 PM
  1. I give birth to a giant brown monster either next to the parking meter or on top of it. This places it out of order so you do not have to pay! This only works when it is NOT raining!

    Posted by John "Fatboy" Williams January 9, 09 04:32 PM
  1. I was behind one of these BTS SUVs in rushhour traffic this morning in downtown Boston...besides going 10-15 miles an hour in zones where 30 is the norm and straddling two lanes causing confusion for all the cars behind him, I counted several stop signs he rolled though, a crosswalk he blocked (making pedestrians walk through icy snow and circle in front of him on a sheet of ice instead of crossing in the cleared xwalk) and he made several turns and did not once use the turn signal. The best part? He almost mowed down someone in a cross walk but then stopped for every jaywalker. I really wish I thought to take his license plate down, this guy was a menace!

    Posted by sophie January 9, 09 04:35 PM
  1. I just have to comment to spirit_of_the_law about "Those handicap accessible ramps do go all the way to the street folks." Have you ever taken a bus? Most bus stops are NOT at handicap accessible ramps. I've seen old people with canes have to climb over snow piles (usually iced over) to step down to the street on more ice where the plows have pushed it up, and then try to climb up into the bus which either has a driver that doesn't want to operate the "kneeler", or the "kneeling" function is broken. The MBTA doesn't have people to clear bus stops of snow or ice, so the places where people wait for a bus are dangerous in the extreme in bad weather. But drivers still think it's perfectly fine to park in the bus stops and block the buses. I agree that some bus drivers are very inconsiderate about just stopping in the road and blocking the lane, but most times they have little choice in the matter.

    Posted by JTF January 9, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Just more in the ever growing pile of crap that massachusetts always has been. Massachusetts and Illinois are sister states in coruption. Thank you to all you liberral democrats - you get what you deserve and unfortunately so do the rest of us!

    Posted by greg January 9, 09 04:55 PM
  1. I hate when the bus driver doesn't pull over. He never gets reprimanded.....I appealed a ticket in Cambridge that I had gotten on my wifes car...the Parking Nazi "dug" up a $35 ticket from 8 years ago under my name. Weird as I never changed my license plate and I have renewed my license with no "liens" on it.....did you ever see people in HC spaces jumping out of the car and walking around with no issues. What's a HC? A sore throat it seems in some cases.....With all the traffic departments the rule is guilty until proven innocent.

    Posted by Robert Mugawbi January 9, 09 05:03 PM
  1. Meter Maids need to chill. I pulled up to a meter that was "out of order", I asked the Meter maid if it was ok to park since the meter would not take any money as it was broken. She said "yes". 2 hours later, we came out to find the ticket on the windshield. Even if another Meter Maid came along, it was clearly 'out of order', not a 'violation/expired' reading on the meter. I mean , come on, use your brain people.

    Posted by Rick B. January 9, 09 05:16 PM
  1. Just slightly off the subject, but it made me so mad and is close to topic...driving in Boston today with my two kids and get cut off by a crazy pickup truck which is honking and going fast / slow/ swerving. Really bad. Fortunately for me, there was a work zone with a boston police officer instead of a flag holder. My lucky day, as he is there to keep us safe in ways in which the flag bearers cannot! WRONG!!! Of course he was sitting in his car relaxing during his shift, dare he get a bit chilly or break a sweat. I pull over to point this out (the car is just right ahead driving away) and he just waves me on from in his car. Didn't even want to know what I was going to tell him.

    They need to overhaul the entire system. When the officers and traffic cops don't care anymore about public safety, it is time to dump them. I didn't vote to eliminate the income tax, but I sure will next time. As for public safety with officers at the work sites..a total joke.

    Now back to the parking goons...

    Posted by bv January 9, 09 05:36 PM
  1. Bob's Food Store in Medford - what a parking free-for-all and those useless Medford cops turn a blind eye. I once called the police because one of Bob's delivery trucks was blocking my driveway, and parking in a permit-only zone. The policeman's response? "I'm sure they'll be gone in a minute".

    Another time, a Medford cop car parked in the crosswalk area near Bob's, making it impossible to see enough of the traffic to turn the corner. Another fine example set by the ignorant Medford police department. What a useless old boy network.

    Posted by Disgruntled Medford citizen January 9, 09 06:33 PM
  1. I've never had a serious run in with the BTD but whenever I, or any of my friends get a ticket we have noticed that even if you are in the wrong, as long as you write them a letter they will waive your parking fee. On the flip side I have been extremely in the right, and they wrote back saying I was totally wrong -- but they still waived my parking ticket.

    Posted by James Chase January 9, 09 06:48 PM
  1. bus drivers act like they're in Bangkok!!! i'm cut off all the time. they take up multiple lanes. no signal; just come on out. i have to drive like i'm on a motorcycle which i would never have in Boston. while i'm ranting, what about all the huge potholes this year....what the hell are we paying all these fees and taxes for???

    Posted by jaxon January 9, 09 08:44 PM
  1. Just pull an "Obama": rack up and ignore the traffic/parking tickets for 20 years until you are ready to run for public office.

    Posted by Cod Hunter January 9, 09 11:28 PM
  1. parked down in china town to go to a dentist's appointment at Tufts, put in 2 dollars worth of quarters to get my 2 hours of time. Came back with 5 minutes to spare on my meter, but I had a ticket on my window for an expired meter.

    Took a photo of the meter and my car, and fought the ticket... said not enough evidence, the photo could have been taken from anytime anywhere.

    You can't win, there is no justice with these damn meter nazi's.

    Posted by Tom January 10, 09 10:34 AM
  1. BTD is got to be the most crooked power hungry group of people I have ever dealt with. I received a late notice for a ticket that I never got. When I went to contest I had to sign a piece of paper that stated I was guilty until proven innocent ??? and then had to sit in front of a young kid who did not care what I had to say. I lost more money on parking and lost time at work then it would have cost to just pay the ticket but I couldn't just pay it when I knew I was right. Ended up paying the ticket also... absolute joke.

    Posted by Will January 10, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Cambridge is just as bad. Once parked at a meter put enough quarters for an hour and went in the bank. came out 10 minutes later and found and expired meter ticket on the car. Sure enough the meter read expired when only a few minutes earlier it read 1 hour. I was advised when I called to complain about it that my only option was to pay it or contest it in court. So my choice was lose a days pay to save a few bucks. I opted to pay it instead. the problem is a similar scenario had occured over 50 times over the year and a half I worked in cambridge. Never got a single parking ticket anywhere else.

    Posted by Mike January 10, 09 11:55 AM
  1. Jaywalkers aren't destroying the Earth, motorists are. In order to lower the anxiety level in Boston--we should ban cars. Imagine living in a civil society--what a concept. As a veteran, I can't tell you how much I resent the arrogance of people in cars. Screw you buddy, as far as I'm concerned, I've earned my right to walk, or ride my bike wherever I please. They feel sooo tough in the safety of their car--why don't you get out and we'll talk about? I'd like to show them some of the skills I learned whilst serving my country as an Infantryman in Ft. Benning, GA. Go ahead, rev up the engine, honk your horn--but, don't you dare get out of your car, because if you do I'm going to lay you flat on your back.

    There's something about being encased in metal and glass that reduces the people outside their bubble to object, and nuisance status. Think of the insanity of trying to quickly drive through one of the oldest, most densely populated cities in the country. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Oh, no--but it's your fault because you're trying to cross the street. Cars had a good run, but they're killing the planet and making the people who drive them turn into lunatics--ban them!!!

    Posted by Jimmy January 10, 09 11:55 AM
  1. One law for buses and one law for residents: the Silver line, Washington St from the City to Dudley Station - Red lights violated and even worse, buses full of people routinely doing 40-60 mph like Washington St is a highway and not stopping for pedestrians. its not every driver, but its a regular occurrence and an accident waiting to happen.

    However one other observation - I would contest that Boston Drivers are some of the worst in the country -A bit of driver education would go a long way to solving the greif of driving or walking through our city and reduce the violations overall.

    Posted by Mark January 10, 09 05:11 PM
  1. It makes me angry to read some of these comments here today regarding parking tickets and The BTD. If people read their signs or meters...they would know where and when to park. Broken meters are only allowed 1 hour are getting a free is not your right to get any more than this. as it is also not your right to get more than 2 hours on a working meter...which by the way ..if you recieve a ticket for this infraction..their handhelds record the times that you are seen parking there..and this can not be messed around with , since they are computerized. Double parking is also not your right, even if you are in the car, or have your flashers impedes the flow of traffic. If a spot is designated as resident parking, it's for the residents to park there, not for you to sit in your car and talk on your cell or play on your laptop. I've spoken with a couple of these officers, they are always polite and helpful when you ask for directions or ask if you can park in a particular spot. Instead of belly aching about BTD, park correctly and you'll have no problem.

    Posted by Elizabeth January 11, 09 10:21 AM
  1. How about bus drivers who refuse to pull into the bus stop even if it is open, tying up traffic behind them and forcing the customers to walk in the street to get to the bus

    Posted by cbx January 11, 09 11:38 AM
  1. scorp 508 ... parking right up against a cross walk is not illegal
    parking in it is

    Posted by cbx January 11, 09 11:42 AM
  1. The biggest BTD fraud is the 2hr parking limit enforcement. In the High Street area in the Financial District they will ticket you for 'over 2 hr' violation, even when the meter is paid ! Their convoluted logic is that you are only allowed ONE 2-hr parking period, even though it does not state that anywhere on street signs, parking meters, or BTD regulations. A colleague has even been ticketed for the 2hr violation (again, with meter paid) when he actually MOVED his car to another spot on opposite side of the street.

    Boston parking should be enforced on payment of the applicable fee. Period. Anything else is bogus, BTD can't create policies or procedures that are not documented and well--communicated to the public. As stated it's a horrendous hassle to try to fight 'city hall' to overturn a common (incorrect !) BTD practice of issuing violations when in fact the meter was PAID !

    Posted by Serputer January 11, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Of course people shouldn't park at bus stops, and there probably should be an increase in the fines for such a violation; however, as others have stated, the MBTA General Manager's rationale for the fine increase is simply false at best, and disingenuous at worst, as bus driver's rarely drive to the curb to discharge or pick up passengers. Perhaps Mr. Grabauskas doesn't take the time to observe his employees in action, or he simply takes their word for it. In any event, even in snowstorms, bus drivers force senior citizens to walk over very slippery conditions out into the street.

    Posted by T-man January 11, 09 01:31 PM
  1. what a joke....i live in south boston; on my block alone (between g street and old harbor street) there are 3 bus stops....yes could easily fit 3/4 cars in each....the bus doesn't even pull into the stop where no cars are not have to walk to wherever the bus chooses to stop....and as far as meter maids are concerned, mumbles positively absolutely tells them they have a quota to meet....they CONSTANTLY give out tickets for non-residency to cars that have resident stickers on them....they are like vultures....come out when no one is around.....must suk to be a meter maid!

    Posted by suzie green January 11, 09 03:06 PM
  1. The worst thing that happened to me was visit a friend in the South End early one saturday morning in june a few years ago. I found a side street with no signs up and a few other cars parked along there. I visited her for less than two hours, came back to my car and found that it was towed! During the time that it was parked, temporary "No Parking" signs had been put up on tthe street lights (complete w/ zip ties) due to a parade. When I asked the BTD officer I saw walking down the street, he said the signs had been cut down the night before by vandals, but the ban was still in effect, even if the signs weren't up. He said these signs had been put up 30 minutes ago. When I asked "how could I know the signs were going to be put up?" he had no sympathy and told me I should have known about the parade. Never mind I had just moved to Arlington less than a year before. To keep this short (too late!), I had to pay over $100 on the spot to get my car out of the impound yard, with no chance to appeal. Even if I could how could I prove that there were no signs there when I parked? Unfair at the time, but I am learning that parking fines are just a fact of life if you are going to live in the boston area.

    Posted by Erik from Watertown, MA January 11, 09 05:21 PM
  1. It should be a felony with jail time for a cop or other authority to deliberately write a false ticket.

    Posted by Old Poor Richard January 11, 09 05:59 PM
  1. My wife parked at the Childrens Muesaum and came back to her car with 20 min left on the meter and an "expired meter" ticket. She called a supervisor who came out 30 minutes later and told her she had no proof and could do nothing to help her. She fought the ticket and lost. Sitting and waiting for the BTD for 30 minutes with two hungry kids should be proof enough.

    Posted by mrm January 11, 09 08:32 PM
  1. Well, with luck, they'll all be jobless.

    how does one get such a cushy job anyhow? is it the step just before mass pike toll collector?

    Posted by nick January 11, 09 08:59 PM
  1. BTD are a bunch of lawless thugs. These are my experiences over the past year:
    -BTD towtruck blasting through a redlight at 45 mph on Harrison Ave, almost struck pedestrian.
    -BTD ticket for neighbohood parking, despite proper sticker clearly displayed-twice. Both appeals rejected-no reason why.
    -BTD ticket written as meter expired while I was trying to leave space, but couldn't due to gridlock-meter maid wrote ticket from one care back, never served ticket to me. Appeal rejected.

    Its beyond laughable at this point-they might as well just shake you down on the street, come to your business and ask for protection money, or directly access your bank account.

    Posted by Mike January 12, 09 07:00 AM
  1. Dear Jimmy (59),
    Your frustration and tendencies toward violence are an inspiration to us all. It's touching to know that after you're done jaywalking, you are ready to kill any motorist with your bare hands if they take umbrage with your truculence and stupidity.
    Best wishes,

    Posted by Mike January 12, 09 07:06 AM
  1. I think this is wonderful! I will be sending the MBTA photos of the Lynn Sheriff's Department bus which parks repeatedly at the bus-stop in front of the condominium where I live. I might add that, in addition to its being in violation of the bus stop, it also blocks the exit vision for the driveway from which residents (taxpayers) endeavor to exit. Perhaps the State would give us a finder's fee commission? The citizenry at large could really help out the State in this regard. "Together yes we can!"

    Posted by outsidethebox January 12, 09 07:39 AM
  1. The City of Boston Parking Department has serious issues...I live in Boston and commerical vehicles are not allowed to park on the street overnight...but for some reason they are allowed to on my street....the fine they get for overnight parking is
    somewhere around $250.00. A few weeks ago I got tagged for parking the wrong way on my street...a $20.00 fine. There are constantly cars parked the wrong way
    but this evening I happened to be the only would seem to me that the city would make more money by tagging commerical plates than residents.

    Posted by Denise January 12, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Buses should have their front ends reinforced to be able to not only push illegally parked cars our of bus stops, but also to push double parkers out of the way. It could be something as simple as a pusher bar, or something as complex as a forklift to lift the car onto a waiting flatbed.

    Don't want your car to get bent? Then don't double park or park in a freaking bus stop. This "me first" attitude causes more traffic congestion than all the idiots on the road, combined.

    Posted by J January 12, 09 03:22 PM
  1. Waaaaaaa ... I got a ticket. Waaaaaaa. Too funny. One guy wrote, "But I'm here [blocking traffic] because I'm waiting for a parking space." As if THAT makes it better. That's just the able-bodied people who park in a handicapped spot and say, "I'm just going to be a minute." Get a life, will ya? It's not the BTDs fault ... it's yours! Whata child!

    Posted by Rog January 12, 09 04:19 PM
  1. I once received a ticket for parking in a handicap space.

    There was no curb cut within 25 feet of my car.

    Gee, must be fun to roll that wheelchair up a 4" curb.

    Posted by nobiscuits January 23, 09 04:41 AM
  1. I parked in the financial district one Saturday afternoon. There were signs posted everywhere indicating that there was a 2-hour parking limit from 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. I parked in the presence of a meter maid and confirmed with her that I indeed had 2 hours. She said yes and even noted the time I parked on her ticket computer. I came back 1.5 hours later and found a ticket on my windshield. I was furious and even waited to see if she would come around again so that I could give her a piece of my mind. The ticket clearly indicated the time that I parked and the time she issued the ticket. It was 1.25 hours!!! I wrote a not-so-kind letter to appeal my ticket, indicating the imcompetence of the meter maid. The ticket was evidence enough. They dismissed the ticket, but they had the audacity to write that they were justified in issuing the ticket. I say, "Don't post the sign if you're not going to allow the time!"...............IDIOTS!!!!

    Posted by Kai January 28, 09 10:57 AM
  1. These stories are incredible. This sounds more like the machinations of a third world dictatorship than the land of the free.

    My attitude is that parking, traffic and cops / meter maids are such a hassle, that I do my business in the burbs where there are huge parking lots, less traffic, and a police force that understands the value of having me spend my money with the businesses in their town.

    Posted by Mark Robinson February 14, 09 12:01 PM
  1. The state income tax could be eliminated if the local, state and private (college) police departments enforced the state traffic regulations prohibiting: running red lights, failure to yield the right of way, speeding, U-turns, traveling in reverse, turning from the wrong lane, turning on red without stopping and/or when not allowed, failure to use turn signal, obstructing traffic (double parking)..., which includes MBTA buses, taxis and SUV drivers. Why not, they have made parking fines a major revenue source by rigorous enforcement?

    Posted by theoldhorse February 17, 09 11:33 PM
  1. It is time for some meaningful traffic enforcement. Driving through red lights to gridlock traffic is not a joke. Threatening to run over a pedestrian in a crosswalk is assault with a deadly weapon. We must have law and order on the streets, or we will begin defending ourselves with force. Is that really where we want to go, or will we convince the mayor to fund real traffic enforcement instead of making a mockery of the law.

    Posted by Dan Ari February 20, 09 01:16 AM
  1. You people are stupid. You should read the signs and understand the rules before parking. Comment number 64 it is stated that you can only park on one city block for a maximum of 2 hrs, after the two hours you must move your vehicle to a new space on a new city block, not across the street or two spots down. If you look up or ask one of the BTD officials they will tell you this. Pull your head out and understand that it doesnt matter if you agree or not that doesnt mean you can do something just becasue you dont agree with the laws. Double parking is double parking even if you are in the vehicle. but i guess nobody can take responsibility for their own actions and needs to blame everything on somebody else. IDIOTS!!!!!

    Posted by BK March 24, 09 09:52 PM

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