My Boston Parking Ticket Party
by Ari Armstrong, September 1999
I sent this letter in reply to to a notice from Boston's Office of the Parking Clerk.
July 26, 1999
Dear Boston Office of the Parking Clerk,
I traveled to Boston in late July to visit a friend. While there, I was issued an illegitimate parking ticket (#33888440-5). As per the information provided on the back of the ticket, the "notice may be appealed and adjudicated by mail if supporting statements" are sent in. I sent in supporting statements, and yet your office refused to dismiss the charges, without any explanation of the reasons for dismissal.
You may consider this my second "appeal by mail." I will NOT pay the illegitimate $25 parking fine, as I am not guilty of the infraction. First, as I explained in my first correspondence, I was not parked on Huntington Avenue at 11:38 pm on June 29, 1999, the time specified on the ticket. Rather, from about 5:00 pm on June 29 until the morning of June 7, I was parked on Broadway in Cambridge. I sent in two sworn testimonies to this effect already, and I can send you the sworn testimonies of several other people in the Boston area if that's necessary.
In addition, in researching the event, you may note that 335 Huntington Avenue was NOT posted as a "no parking" zone on June 29, as stated on the ticket. This reason alone is sufficient to render the ticket invalid, even though I am fighting the charge based on the fact that I was not parked on Huntington any time close to what's specified on the ticket.
In your letter dated July 19, you say that I have the "right to appeal this ticket at a hearing." Obviously, this is a flagrant attempt on your part to bilk a tourist out of cash on a bogus charge. You know damn well that I won't be able to return to Boston to attend a hearing for a $25 parking ticket. You're hoping that I'll just pay up so that you'll leave me alone.
But I will not be so intimidated. Rather, if you do not dismiss this illegitimate charge against me, I will take the following steps:
1) I will write to every state legislator in Massachusetts to let them know you are harassing tourists with illegitimate parking tickets.
2) I will write to every paper in the Boston area to let them know you are harassing tourists with illegitimate parking tickets.
3) I will write to Boston's business organizations to let them know you are costing the community tourist dollars by harassing tourists with illegitimate parking tickets.
4) I will publish an account of your actions in the Colorado media, warning Coloradans about the harassment of tourists by Boston bureaucrats.
How ironic that Boston, home of the Freedom Trail, is also now home to abusive bureaucrats who believe they can intimidate visitors into paying illegitimate parking taxes to the city of Boston. Well, sirs and madams, consider this my "Boston Parking Ticket Party."