CSI: Arlington County

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

VIOLATION: Wilson Blvd. and N. Kent St.

Today's violation comes to us from Wilson Blvd. and N. Kent St. in Rosslyn. We especially enjoy how the county official had time to place an orange cone next to the car, but didn't have enough time to put a quarter in the meter.

Date: 8/29/2006
License Plate: 104-793L (VA)
Car Number: n/a

Thursday, September 07, 2006

VIOLATION (D.C. Police Edition!): Pentagon Row

The following pictures were sent to us by an astute reader on the lookout for crooks. Though the object of our ire is Arlington County, it's impossible to overlook the following infraction: a police car clearly parked in a handicapped spot.

While we're loathe to give them any credit, we're betting our friends working for Arlington County know that that just ain't right.

Date: 9/2/2006
License Plate: 2258 (DC)
Car Number: n/a

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

We're Watching You


TO: Arlington County Employees
FROM: CSI: Arlington County
SUBJECT: Your Internet Surfing Habits

Dear Arlington County employee, like you, we are big fans of the Internet. The Internet allows us to do fun things like post pictures of law-breaking county employees and then mock their infractions. It allows us to find fun facts, like how Arlington County parking aides get paid $45,011 each year, while new teachers in Virginia make only $31,924. The Internet also allows us to see who is visiting our website, how long they spend on our website, and what other websites they might have been looking at both before and after their assuredly delightful jaunt to CSI: Arlington County.

So imagine our surprise when we discovered that many of the commenters on and visitors to our site were *gasp* employees of Arlington County! It even appears that one of you naughty little buggers spent quite a bit of time at our site leaving harrassing comments in nearly every post. If we didn't know any better, we'd think you had a crush on us.

Of course we're delighted that our county officials are finally taking the time to educate themselves about the concerns of the electorate, but we're not too keen on our tax dollars being used by county bureaucrats to defend their little bureaucracy for hours at a time.

In addition to being big fans of the Internet, we here at CSI: Arlington County are also big fans of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In addition to allowing citizens access to records about county expenditures on vehicles and fuel, FOIA also allows us to access county records about, oh, let's say a certain website that tracks the illicit activities of a certain county parking enforcement unit. We're sure that request is going to be a lot of fun for you. But don't get ahead of yourself, as you have plenty of other requests to which you must first attend. And remember, non-compliance with state FOIA regulations may end up costing you a lot of money.

Anyhow, we know you have a lot of very important work to do, so we won't take up too much of your time. Just remember that we know who you are, and that based on the sites you've been visiting, Santa's not going to have very many presents for you this year.

Friday, September 01, 2006

VIOLATION: Wilson Blvd. and N. Edgewood St.

Today's violation is sponsored by Arlington County police spokesman John Lisle, who accused us in a Washington Post article of making "a lot of allegations that are not based on the facts."

How's this for a fact, Mr. Lisle? On the afternoon of Monday, August 28, 2006, an employee of Arlington County parked and left his county vehicle unattended next to a fire hydrant.

How do we know this? Because there's a picture of it. But what do we know? We're just a silly non-Arlington County employee.

Date: 8/28/2006
License Plate: 109-366L (VA)
Car Number: 6249

In other news, CSI: Arlington County has obtained the Arlington County Parking Enforcement Unit parking checklist:

1) Park next to fire hydrants. Since most people know they'll be ticketed and towed if they park there, the spots are almost always open.

2) Be sure to leave your lights on. If your battery dies, we'll just bill Arlington County taxpayers for a new one.

3) Leave the truck unattended for a while. The presence of the truck will let passersby know not to park illegally.

Arlington County Parking Enforcement Unit: Because Parking Legally Just Isn't Any Fun!

Washington Post Profiles CSI: Arlington County

The Washington Post covered our website in print and online yesterday in a story entitled Blog Tags Illegally Parked County Vehicles (free registration may be required).

The most noteworthy aspect of the article to us is that county officials never refuted our assertion that they care more about collecting fines than finding solutions to the county's parking crunch. A spokesman for the Arlington County Police Department even admitted that illegal parking is not confined to the parking enforcement unit. All in all, not too shabby.

An excerpt:

The site was launched two weeks ago as a public exhibit, a means to display and poke fun at what Davis calls the "law-breaking, jack-booted thugs who . . . regularly break the traffic laws they are supposed to enforce."

"It was born out of frustration," said Davis, 25. "We've got such a ridiculous parking crunch here . . . and it seems the county cares more about getting fines than finding solutions."

Davis has posted several color photos of the ubiquitous white county vehicles, each parked illegally or left unattended. He has posted at least one photo a day since Aug. 18 and includes information such as the date and time of the incident and the vehicle's tag number.

Most of the photographs posted so far have been taken in the Ballston and Courthouse neighborhoods, where there has been a boom in construction and development in recent years. Davis's biggest gripe is that instead of creating more parking, the county puts its resources into ticketing those who cannot find a legal spot, he said.

And our favorite:

"When the [aides] are enforcing a parking regulation, there are times when they may double-park. However, when they do so, they are instructed to activate the amber warning lights on their vehicles to alert oncoming traffic," [Arlington County Police Department spokesman] Lisle said.

Arlington County Parking Enforcement Unit: We Have Flashing Lights, And We Are Authorized To Use Them!