Recently, a fervor has erupted over BIRD Scooters. The scooter ride-share program arrived unannounced in Redondo Beach, which had more than a few of its reactionary residents seeing red.
Indeed, the scooter company should have gone through the proper channels and gotten a business license. This we agree on. Yet the naysayers' reaction was so far over the top that many of these human cuttlefish were calling for citizen confiscation of scooters, destruction of property by mobocracy, and a massive law enforcement effort to ticket the two-wheeled menace out of existence.
Be careful what you wish for… you just might get it.
On sabbatical in Chicago, I have seen some truly horrendous stuff when it comes to Parking Enforcement and the lengths governments will go to drum up revenue.
Illinois has an unfunded pension debt of $250 billion and growing. Everything is taxed in Chicago. Between Gas taxes, City Stickers, metered parking, car registration fees, and even a $5 tire tax; living in Chicago can get very expensive. They'll even ticket you if the weeds outside your house are over 8 inches. They would put a tax on the tax if they could get away with it. People are making a mass exodus out of the state. Soon, I envision a Chicago where only three people remain; two bureaucrats and one real working person. Then the working person will leave and the bureaucrats will wonder why right before they start taxing each other. In addition to all these fees, fines, and taxes, Chicago has also taken to privatizing the infrastructure. Anything the octopus of plutocracy can get its slimy tentacles on is up for grabs. ExpressWays, parking meters, airports, CTA fare collection; is now all in the slicked palms of the ruling class. It's a racket. This town used to be run by Al Capone, now it's JP Morgan Chase calling the shots.
Over the past year and a half I've racked up an impressive number of parking tickets and automated red light camera violations. Most of these zaps came from my initial refusal to get a City Sticker and my unsuccessful efforts to get the car to pass smog. I've had roughly half of these tickets dismissed, and here's how...
First off, you got to contest the ticket. Select the 'In-Person' option on the City's website. Next, it's important that you get a sympathetic judge. I've found about half of them to be human beings with a soul and the other half to be stuffed shirts. They get shuffled around to different Hearing Stations every day, so it's a bit of a crap shoot, but worth the effort. After that, prepare a defense. Anything really. For instance, beat a meter ticket by stating that I was delivering food upstairs to a customer with Postmates. I had done some work with postmates in the past but not on the night in question. I slapped my Postmates card down on the dais, and that was that. Another time I got off a 'Parking within 15'' of Fire Hydrant' ticket by bombarding the judge with printed photos showing peeling/flaking yellow paint next to the hydrant on my block. Saved $150 there. When two 'No Residential Parking Zone Sticker' tickets were fought a similar defense was used; telling the judge I was visiting a friend who was in bad shape, and was only inside the house for a couple minutes.
She soundly stated, "the law is 15 minutes. Would you say you were away from your car for less than 15 minutes?"
I said, "Yes, your honor, I would say that. I was away from my car for less than 15 minutes."
The ticket was dismissed.
So, in response to some of Redondo's residents' moaning about more ticketing being the solution, I simply say this; get a grip. Bureaucracy never seems to shrink. It's a slippery slope and you won't like where this road leads...
🛴"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
- Ayn Rand
- Ayn Rand
🛴 Epilogue: They finally killed my car...