Rushing back to your car only to find a parking officer writing a ticket can put a damper on anyone's day — especially if you try to plead or argue, usually in vain. But the saga may soon become a thing of the past.
At the upcoming council meeting on Feb. 14, the City of Berkeley will consider showing drivers some love and banning parking officers from issuing tickets when the driver of the vehicle is present.
The proposal comes from Councilman Kriss Worthington, who says that the city should adopt a "kinder, gentler parking policy" and not punish drivers who show up to move their cars.
Worthington was encouraged by a Berkeley resident who wrote to the city about a teacher at on Addison Street who has received tickets on a number of occasions, despite arriving within one to two minutes of the parking time expiration.
"He has on all of these occasions been unable to convince the person writing the ticket to reverse it," wrote the concerned resident.
The policy will have little impact on revenue, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, since parking tickets earn about $1.5 million for the city annually — a small contribution in a budget of $350 million.
The real money-maker comes in giving consumers somewhere to park in Berkeley's commercial districts long enough to shop or dine, but ensuring the space soon opens up for the next big spender.
Have you ever been issued a ticket in Berkeley as you were returning to move your car? What do you think of the proposed policy? Share your thoughts in the comments and take the poll.