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Baltimore Living

Mel Guapo

Best Civic Sign of Hope: Parking-machine altruism

Best Civic Sign of Hope

parking-machine altruism

Baltimore City parking enforcement has been brutal lately. We’ve seen a lot more tickets and boots than usual, and some seem to think it’s a sign of the city’s budget woes. And let’s face it, parking tickets in this city are about generating revenue, pure and simple. The introduction of those parking meter printer things, though, has provided a channel by which to stick it to the man a little. See, you purchase time in advance as you would with a normal meter, except it’s on a nice, portable, and thus transferable little strip of paper. So if you get back to your car with a fair bit of time left on the meter, you can give it to someone else to use. Sometimes the timing works out and you can hand it a person who has just parked or is waiting to, but if not, you can always just stick it back in the dispensing part of the machine. And there seems to be a small (hopefully growing) subculture of people who do just this with surprising diligence. Sure a homeless person might snag it and try to resell it, but that’s still a net benefit in our book. So check for existing tickets before printing out a new one, and if you have time left on the stub, pay it forward yo.

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