Frequently Asked Questions
Q: You're an idiot.
A: That's not a question, but you may have a point.
Q: Are you nuts?
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: From ticketing at parking meters on Sundays, to ticketing in non-metered two-hour zones mere minutes after the two-hour time limit begins, to blatantly ignoring clearly displayed Arlington County parking permits, the Arlington County Parking Enforcement Unit has proven that its mission is more harrassment than enforcement. Add a willful, demonstrated disregard for the law, and the result is a governmental agency that has proven that it is completely incapable of functioning without constant adult supervision.
This site exists because the Arlington County Parking Enforcement Unit is out of control and nobody is doing anything about it. And because it's kind of funny.
Q: Do you really want Arlington County parking officials to take up valuable parking spots instead of illegally parking on the street?
A: Good question, but I don't know if I agree with its premise. Given that most parking congestion occurs in higher traffic areas around easily accessible Metro stops, it seems silly (and wasteful) to give brand new gas-guzzling Ford F-150s to parking officials for the purpose of handing out tickets in areas that could easily be covered by foot or on bicycle.
Arlington County Chairman Chris Zimmerman has stated that Arlington County needs to be a more "transit-oriented" community, which means that people should drive less and use public transportation more. If that's the case, then the Parking Enforcement Unit should be a "transit-oriented" organization. And given the apparent obesity epidemic in this country, a little exercise for our county officials might not hurt. Not to mention the fact that we're paying $3 per gallon of gas for county officials to constantly stop and start their F-150s all day long.
Q: How is an illegally parked parking official any different than a police officer who speeds to catch a speeder, runs a red light to catch a bank robber, etc.?
A: Excellent question. The answer is that in the case of the police officer, the safety and security of the public is immediately at stake. However, that is not the case with a car that has been parked next to a meter for a few extra minutes. Vehicles that are parked too long next to a parking meter are not an immediate threat to anybody's safety or security (the crime of parking next to an expired meter is, at its core, a crime for not having given enough money to Arlington County in the first place, not a crime against one's safety or security). In many cases, in fact, the illegally parked parking official actually creates a public safety or traffic hazard, especially on roads with narrow lanes and no discernible shoulder. And to those who would argue that speeding police officers also create a safety hazard, we would state that police officers undergo rigorous training to prepare for events such as high-speed chases. To my knowledge, no such training for illegal parking exists. The only prerequisite is laziness.
And, because it's vaguely related to the police officer analogy, it's interesting to note how Arlington County's priorities are reflected in its budget for the Police Department. The Parking Enforcement Unit employs 29 officials who are responsible for enforcing the county's parking laws.
In contrast, the Traffic Unit, which is responsible for the "safe...flow of traffic in the County", employs only 11 officers.
Q: If a brief period of illegal parking makes the jobs of Parking Enforcement Unit officials easier, isn't that worth it?
A: Breaking the law may in many cases make all of our jobs easier. It would certainly make my daily commute more enjoyable. However, I don't see any judge or jury letting me off the hook because breaking the law was convenient for me at the time.
Q: Seriously, are you insane?
A: You've been a great audience. We'll be here all week. And don't forget the 9:30 show is completely different than the 7:30 show.