Monday, July 20, 2009
Parking Tickets in Toronto
So here's the thing. I have received 3 parking tickets in the past 3 weeks. That's close to $100 that I won't be spending on buckets of Amsterdam Blonde at The Cadillac Lounge. And I can deal with that. In most instances, it was my own stupidity that resulted in my ticket. I wasn't even bitter the time I popped into Chippy's for takeout with my dad and came back to my car 3 minutes later only to find that unmistakable yellow slip in my windshield... I was so shocked that the parking ticket dude was able to write up a ticket that fast that I could do nothing but tip my cap. I felt like Ron Burgundy after Baxter ate a whole wheel of cheese and pooped in the refrigerator: I wasn't even mad... Just amazed.
In any event, I have a great idea that I think the City of Toronto should give some strong consideration.
Living in the digital age that we currently inhabit, as you well know, almost everything is done online. And paying for your parking infractions through the City of Toronto's website is no different. But here's the thing: they charge you a $1.50 convenience fee to pay your ticket online.
So let me get this straight: in a City that professes itself to be one of the leaders in sustainable development (passing a watered down green roof by-law), and in a city that rightfully tries to discourage you from driving into the City's downtown core by bombarding you with an endless array of parking tickets, they are actually penalizing you for paying your tickets from the comforts of your own home (where, presumably, you will not be clogging the city streets with you carbon emitting vehicle).
A $1.50 convenience charge... It's as if they think the internet is this brand new invention that they should charge a fee for because they invented it or something...
So here's my suggestion: I would happily pay the $1.50 convenience charge if there was a section that gave you 140 characters worth of twitter-like comment space. Not only would this be endlessly entertaining for the people from the City who would get the opportunity to sift through these comments (wouldn't a collection of these comments be the best website since textsfromlastnight.com?), but it would be highly cathartic for those frustrated transgressors, who would probably be able to resist beating the tar out of the parking enforcer if they knew they'd be able to express their displeasure online.
So, until the City of Toronto adopts this idea for their online payment option, here is what I would have written for my last 3 tickets:
2. I thought you assholes were on strike...
3. Alright... I cry Uncle...