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Poll: Should Berkeley Ban Parking Tickets Issued in the Driver's Presence?

Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington proposed an ordinance that would ban parking officers from issuing tickets if the driver is present. "If you show up to move your car, that should be good enough," said Worthington. What do you think? Read mor

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.

Ross Stapleton-Gray February 10, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I'd wonder if this wasn't suggested by a parking officer... I can imagine very few situations more unpleasant (at least in day to day urban life) than having to deal with an irate driver freaking out over having to pay a fine for committing a parking violation. I cringe every time I see someone running up to where an officer is writing out a ticket, and it's more in sympathy with what the latter is going to be getting.
Lou Judson February 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I work at Freight and Salvage acros from Jazzschool, and have seen this happen many many times, though not to me (I park in the nearby lot if it is over 90 minutes, aren't I honest?!}. I'd say if the parking permit shows an expiration that is not over five minutes old they should not even have to argue about it, but if it is a half hour old they should get a ticket. But the absolute worst is when the driver goes to the machine to buy a permit and comes back to find a ticket being written while they were buying the permit! That is cruel and heartless on the part of the cop. I would hope a judge would dismiss it when presented with the evidence, but the cop should look around before writing up a ticket on a just-parked car! So have they decided to hire that parking bureaucrat or not?
John Doh! February 11, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Albany has FREE 90 minute parking. Driving down Solano Ave in Berkeley, I find a parking spot in front of Tangerine (a great little spot for coffe and lunch,) but to my dismay, the spot has an old fashioned meter instead of being able to us a credit card. I go in to the shop to break a dollar and you guessed it, parking enforcement dude (robocop,) is already writing a ticket and ignoring me when I come out to feed the meter. Then, the guy sprints (yes, running) away to ticket another car that he'd been waiting for the exact minute for the time to expire and write his next ticket. I've found 3 other good coffee places in Albany where I go now and I get to park for free.

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