Parking Nazis Must Die!

June 17, 2005
While I am afraid of becoming the official TCC Confidential crankpot, I'm justified as usual because the people who write and enforce car laws are idiot Nazis who must die.

In this case it's the city of New Orleans and the arcane parking rules that govern the French Quarter. Now, thanks to the equally arcane rules that govern marriage and property rights in the U.S., I'm allowed to own my own corner of the Quarter and call it my own. It's not huge, but hell, it's not Picayune, Miss.

The parking rules, however, are as picayune as Barney Fife would write. First there's the hurdle alone of getting a parking permit for the Quarter, which you have to have, for fear of getting multiple tickets in the span of three hours, which I've done. Once you have a driver's license and some sort of proof of residence, you then have to hunt down the residential parking office which is, not coincidentally, in a neighborhood where parking isn't even an issue, much less governed by rules. The permit is $15. The registration fees in Louisiana are among the most onerous in the nation already.

Having a permit, like in most big cities, is just a hunting license. But in New Orleans, the game is especially elusive. You can't park in front of driveways. You can't park near fire hydrants, of course. You can't park within 20 feet of a stop sign, a totally un-indicated law that crops up only on - you guessed it - the actual parking ticket itself. As for streetcleaning, if you leave your car on a "short" street in the Quarter (all the Saints - Peter, Ann, Philip, Louis) on a Tuesday morning it gets towed so they can brush away last night's grime. Long streets (Bourbon, Dauphine, Chartres) get the scrubdown on Thursdays. The end result is, that at any given moment, subtracting out all these legalities, horse-drawn carriages, Dumpsters in place for renovating Creole townhouses, and valet spots for the microbrand hotels and guest houses, there's only about three legal spots to dock your car.

Top it all off with the roads. In the Quarter they're clogged with conventioneers getting arrested for showing skin for 99-cent beads. Anywhere else in Louisiana, they're about as interesting as said skin.

Parking isn't quite as bad as moving things in your home here, though. The police want $200 cash to block the street so your moving truck won't get ticketed.

So this is why the parking Nazis must die.

Don't even get me started on tourists who pee on your tires!

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