I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Waste

OK, so I started a new job about one month ago. It hasn’t seemed like that long but the calendar tells me it has been. I love to people watch and I have noticed a couple of spendthrift ways about my new co-workers. (I guess I can never let them read my blog.)

My office is in a mixed use neighborhood (depending on the block really – one block commercial, next block residential) in Washington, D.C. So there is street parking available, and most everyone is forced to use the street; as the spaces dedicated to the small building parking lot are passed out by seniority not position (I know, weird). The problem is that most spots are metered or require the correct zone sticker to park for more than two hours. The sticker is given to D.C. residents who live within a certain geographic region of the city. Anyone who parks in the same zone for more than two hours are subjected to ticketing without that lovely sticker.

Some of my co-workers live in Washington, DC, and a couple of them even live in the “proper” parking zone. Very few others live in DC but not in the zone. Most of my co-workers live in Maryland, so what happens every two hours. Most of the office gets up to go move their cars. The meter maid or ticket guy knows all of their cars so he has no problem writing tickets. I say all of that to say this, one lady lives ten minutes from me in Maryland, she drives to work past several Metro stations and park and ride facilities to park on the street and gets on average at least two tickets a month at $30 dollars a ticket.

One of my co-workers accumulated three hundred dollars in tickets their first two weeks here, this not even the most extreme case! I am pretty damn sure it wouldn’t cost them six hundred dollars a month to ride and park at the Metro. What constitutes too many tickets? How much do you pay before you say “there has to be a better way?”

I looked up the price of a Metro Bus pass. It costs $11 a week! That’s $44 dollars a month. That is less than the cost of two parking tickets.I am pretty sure that if all of us asked we could negotiate Metro subsidies and eliminate the amount of ticket revenue that DC collects from them. I am a huge proponent of public transportation probably because I grew up in an area that didn’t have any.

I cannot understand this addiction to a vehicle when you could avoid traffic, save gas, the environment and keep the ticket guy from getting carpal tunnel syndrome!

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