Monday, February 24, 2014

Miserable Petty Bureaucrat

Yes, that is me. White Night is a nice idea, as long as everything is set up to support it. It is Melbourne's second White Night and the first one was a success. The second one seems to be just as, if not more successful. But can you get there?

White Night is a long evening from 7pm to 7am of art, culture, dancing, light shows, building illuminations, bands, sculptures and musical performances within the city. We may have tried to go to the event if we were home and not busy, but given how it was looking down from The Highrise, trying to get onto a succession of packed trams did not look like a good start to the evening. From Twitter, I understand it was the same on trains. We went to a friend's barbeque instead and a pleasant evening was had.

When we returned home, we found all these cars parked illegally in our lane that accesses our carpark. While I enjoyed playing the petty bureaucrat and calling council and making sure they were all booked, (I checked an hour later and they were (Happy White Night folks) it is more than that.

After I passed my driving license I would at times illegally park. Once in the city at night and I was booked not by a parking officer, but a policeman. It is a moot point. The fine is the same. The next time was at The Alfred Hospital when I took a friend to the hospital and it took a long time for her to be seen. I overstayed at a meter and was fined. She paid the fine. The cruncher was, I will only be two minutes in the bank. Damn, those parking officers are quick.

Some people build parking fines into their budgets. Our Hairdresser Friend owes over a thousand dollars of parking fines. She doesn't worry about it and continues to park illegally. I don't feel like I have such money to spare.

Since my fine when parking near the bank, back in 1978, I decided to not park illegally anymore. I haven't since and naturally I have not received a fine. Nor has R, although I won't mention his speeding offences. If I can park legally for 30 odd years, so can other people. It really isn't that hard. Illegal parking is for the very lazy who imagine that a law does not apply to them.

So I may have spoiled some peoples' White Night event by ensuring they were booked, I don't care. You cannot park in our lane in a loading zone. The history of why it is loading zone at night time is that in the past it became a lane to park in to do drug deals. Keep the daytime loading zone overnight, dealer problem solved.


33 comments:

  1. White Night is a great idea. In my country exists The Night of Museums during this night we can visit for free all museums and exhibitions and spend a great time. But I don't like it because it's so noisy and crowded so I prefer paying a ticket and visit museum in my own pace.

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    1. Gosia, I have subsequently heard that it is in many cities and it is no surprise that they are European cities. Yes, I agree, I would rather pay, but there was a lot of things to be seen, such as light displays and on street performances, that you can't normally see.

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  2. But as these people were most likely not doing drug deals, the reason for the loading zone did not apply in to them. Weren't you being just a tad officious, Andrew?

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    1. PS: I suppose I am mean in the way people are mean who turn jokes people make against themselves against them again, since by the title and opening of your post you've already acknowledged your officiousness.

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    2. Marcellous, I thought I did make it sound like I was being petty and officious. But what gets up my nose is that people do this all the time everywhere and think they can get away with it. Mostly they do. I park legally, conform to the road rules and I simply don't see why other people can't. And, any fines paid will go to City of Port Phillip which is a big spender on the arts. Surely you will approve of that.

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    3. Oh, Andrew, you tease! As if the City of Port Phillip will give more money to the Yartz just because they have raised more fines!

      But actually, to get a bit serious, I'm not totally convinced (and here I am being mean - does that make you feel any different?) that saying you have been officious actually makes officiousness any better.

      More seriously, I think the argument "I have obeyed a rule, and therefore so should all" is a spurious appeal to fairness which could justify all sorts of rules, some of which could be petty, pointless or downright wrong.

      Here's an example. In NSW we have now abolished registration stickers on vehicles for small vehicles. But apparently it is still an offence not to have removed an old registration sticker. That is a rule without a function since the old sticker can no longer mislead anyone in any way. Recently when I was selling my old (and damaged) car my friend told me I should remove the sticker and tthat he had been pulled up by police and spoken to about this. I suppose now that he has duly removed his sticker he should walk down the road, spot the (most) cars which still have their old stickers on and ring up the police and call them out to book them all. Why?

      And a 24-hour loading zone for the reason you cite strikes me as an abuse of the parking rule, quite apart from the unfair advantage it gives to drug dealers who drive vans and station wagons.


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    4. Marcellous, I removed my rego sticker the day I renewed my registration. Parking in our lane is always problematic and our building committee has fought long and hard with council about it. It would be a hollow victory not to have it enforced.

      Sometimes people who have little control of their lives can exercise petty power and it makes them feel better. Maybe that it is me.

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  3. White Night sounds fun - but oh the dramas of getting there.
    My pet bug bear is people who park in the places reserved for those with a disability. My youngest brother waits for them and says 'I see your disability is intellectual'. He will get punched one day.

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    1. EC, it should be a criminal offence, but care needs to be taken. Mother has a disabled parking pass, which I use when taking her out. She was in the chemist when I returned to the car and put stuff in my boot. I was aware of someone watching me. "You've just walked up the street and around the corner. You were gone 15 minutes. You must have gone further. There is nothing wrong with you." I could have sworn at her and called her a ****** stupid old ****, but I said to her, wait and watch. As Mother slowly and cautiously walked back to the car, I stared at the woman, but she would not meet my eyes. Yes, it is a bit different when there is no permit visible, but you really have to take great care when judging. Having said that, I really like your brother's comment.

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  4. When we lived in SF and someone parked in our drive and we couldn't get out, we would have them towed. I think in cities people need to follow the rules for parking so that everyone has a fair chance at parking.

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    1. Rubye, that is so interesting and says something about the difference between the US and Australia. Maybe the local council can order cars towed that block private driveways, but I have not heard of it. The police will tell you it is civil matter and send you on your way.

      Yes, the rules are there to manage parking.

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    2. oh RJ - 'SanFran and Parking' is Another Planet. Grown people waving their arms and 'saving' a spot for their driver doing a U-turn. The desperation is amazing.

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  5. That's the problem with these yearly events, because they're not an everyday happening, parking isn't made available. If this happened every week, less people would come and parking wouldn't be such a hassle. But with hundreds more than usual all converging on the one night and everyone wanting to park as close as possible to the action, a little leeway must be allowed.

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    1. River, a little leeway will lead to general disobedience of parking rules. Of course parking will be difficult at such events. People need to plan. Unfortunately trains and trams were not a good alternative either.

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  6. Hello Andrew:

    Happily as we no longer have a motor car the whole issue of parking, legally or illegally, is one we do not have to face.

    In Budapest we have The Night of the Museums which takes place in June; it is possibly similar to your White Night.

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    1. JayLa, there are many more outdoor things happening, rather than just cultural institutions open. Maybe that is what ours should become.

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  7. I was going to go, until I saw your tweet. Then I consulted the #whitenight and saw that it was more than packed everywhere and gave up the idea. I was going to train it in from Caulfield, so very glad I didn't bother. The pics on twitter were nice!

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    1. Fen, I think some great things happened on the outskirts, such as the north of the city and Docklands, and there was some parking available. It really needs a rethink.

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    2. If I could have gone in around 2am it would have been perfect. However I had to be up early the next day and I'm too much of a Nanna to be tired!!

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  8. I had forgotten all about what White Night was and when I saw it all over Twitter at first I didn't know what it was. Then when I saw the beautiful pictures I really wished we had gone. But reading about the congestion, I'm glad I didn't. We hit town for the Antipodes festival a couple of weeks ago and it was more packed than it has ever been - just finding a (legal) carpark, even in a parking building, took ages.
    Nice idea though.

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    1. Antipodes Festival Jackie? I did not even hear about it, and maybe that it the problem with White Night. It was oversold. I don't think you live too far out. Why didn't you get the trains, or a tram?

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  9. It sounds like a fun event as long as you don't mind the crowds. I loath getting a parking fine as I always consider that it is not my fault. I appealed once and won my case but I think I was lucky to get away with it. It costs £120 if you drive in a bus lane at the wrong time here and £60 if you park illegally but something tells me parking fines have increased recently. Cuts in budgets always seem to coincide with an increase in parking fines and the number of people fined!

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    1. Fun60, I know the value of a pound, and they are steep fines. If you won, then surely you were right. It is not too hard to work out if you are right or wrong.

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  10. It does sound like age is catching up with you and yes, I have experienced similar situations when cars are parked choc-a-block near my house during a particular religious festival which leads to all worshippers parking 'legally' (with the assistance of the police) - they do make the effort to leave flyers in all the affected resident and it only happens once a year so we tolerate it and it's all cleared by 5pm.

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    1. Michael, the same happens here for ANZAC Day. Cars park everywhere and no one worries about it. But there aren't flyers about it.

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  11. Unless they were preventing you from getting into your parking spot I can't see that it was necessary to dob them in. It is the city's problem for not providing enough parking places or public transport for such events.

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    1. Blocking the driveway would be next year Diane, after people alerted their friends to a good place to park. The next year they will be in the building looking for vacant car spaces, which is why we have to employ a guard during the Grand Prix. It is not like parking is not policed at night anyway. People are booked often enough.

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  12. I agree with Diane ! I would have thrown some rotten eggs and tomatoes on you ! As long as I have access to my garage and into my street I don't care where people park their cars. Especially not on an exceptional night !

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    1. Gattina, exceptional night. Yes it was, and the public transport was woefully inadequate. It is more pressure to provide better transport. Parking is a very limited resource. I do care about it.

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  13. Andrew I must introduce you to my brother in law when you come over, I suspect you may have a lot in common hahahahahaha!

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    1. Oh dear, Grace. I can guess.

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  14. In a similar situation, if my building's carpark was still accessible I would probably not dob people in unless it was a daily problem. On the other hand, lots of things get up my nose that other people don't care about, so good luck to you if you can actually score a victory - I rarely do.

    It IS infuriating that when I'm parked legally and blocked in by those who are not parked legally, the police won't do anything about it.

    As for the handicapped parking thing... most of the letters to the editor I see on the issue complain about the abuse and think it should be a reportable offence. As you know from your own experience, this is ludicrous as one is so often either dropping off someone frail or waiting to pick them up. Another option I resort to is pulling up as close as possible to the door/entrance, putting on hazard lights, wrestling with wheely walkers and waving to other drivers. Most people are pretty cool with that - but for some reason there are no "drop off" points.

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    1. The drop is hazardous FC as some parents doing the school drop off have found when snapped by a parking officer. My ex Sis in Law was snapped when dropping someone off at a bus stop in your town.

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