Friday, March 15, 2013

Woohoo! We Made It Through the Winter Without a Single Alternate-side Parking Ticket!

Woohoo! We Made It Through the Winter Without a Single Alternate-side Parking Ticket!

Today's the last day (one thing to celebrate about the Ides of March). First winter I can remember that we didn't get a single parking ticket during the period of winter alternate-side parking restrictions, otherwise known as the memory tax -- you forget, you pay. And there's a lot to remember. First you have to decide whether the date is odd-numbered or even numbered. Then you have to figure which tomorrow's date will be, since what counts is where the car is parked after 1:00am of the day in question. You also have to remember which side of the street is which, although your address definitely makes a good starting point. And finally, you have to remember to actually park the damn car in the proper place (and if you wait too long, the neighbors will have taken all the nearby spaces and you may have to park far from the house). There's a lot to remember, and it's easy to get distracted.

Most winters I've gotten one or two tickets. Sometimes I'd park the car on what I thought was the right side, but it turned out I was mixed up. Other times I just plain forgot. It's always irritating to pay the memory tax. You just want to kick yourself, especially since the tickets started getting more and more expensive. It's a pretty effective way for the city to collect revenues from some of its citizens, since they can't really complain and only have themselves to blame.

But this year, with focus and discipline, we emerged unscathed. (Setting a daily iPhone reminder for shortly before bedtime also helped.)

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