Damned If You Do…

park ban Some Wayland Square merchants were understandably upset when Providence Police posted parking ban signs in the area, and started ticketing cars, hours before a single flake had fallen.  It did seem a little premature.  For some of these small businesses this is the week that puts them into the black, and this snow storm is cutting into the beginning of the last weekend.  Providence officials took such a beating after last December’s debacle that they have probably gone a little overboard.  (I’m not even familiar with the angry business that posted this sign.)

9 thoughts on “Damned If You Do…”

  1. BALANCING THE CITY BUDGET with $10,000.00 Parking tickets!!!!!

    On Friday 12/19/2008 – I paid $0.50 to go to the bank downtown at 11:00am
    to do some last minute errands. The LAST WEEKEND before christmas.
    I got a $100.00 Ticket (parking During Emergency). I decided to go ahead and pay the ticket online – Much to my surprise….

    It was for $10,000.00 (This is not a TYPO) + the $3.00 Processing Fee.

  2. And how about diverting some of that enforcement zeal onto those who fail to clear the snow from their sidewalks, City and School Dept property included!
    Extra penalty for piling parking lot snow to block sidewalks.

  3. Wesli Dymoke

    I was among those trapped in the December 2007 snowstorm gridlock nightmare. I agreed to pick up a friend and her child from Hasbro. I was trapped in a car with a sick child and two increasingly hungry adults. It took us four hours to travel just over one mile — a half hour walk or ten minute bike ride in nice weather. It just happened to be one of the city’s bridge routes, with few or no alternative routes (and all of those were just as horrible).

    At the time, I was coincidentally doing research on a Sierra Club report on public transit. The City commissioned a blue ribbon ‘Independent Review Board’ to find out What Happened, What Went Wrong, Who’s Responsible, and What To Do to prevent the same in the future. You can get a copy of ‘Vital Lessons’ from City Hall if you want to read it yourself. The 33-page report has much to say, and offers much advice for how to avoid some of the worst of what happened last year; and many of those provisions were implement this week, for example schools being pre-emptively closed to avoid any possible cloggination and kids sitting on buses stuck in traffic until midnight (again). (I find a four-hour ride on Greyhound unbearable, and I’m ostensibly a grown-up. I can’t imagine being a school kid stuck on damn yellowbus for two or three times that long – with no bathroom!)

    Ultimately, however, the Board concluded that prevention is all but impossible, because the real problem is that there are too many people on the road. Rhode Island already has too much roadway for its size, especially in the metro area, where population density approaches ten thousand people per square miles in many places. Not just overbuilt, Rhode Island roads are also operating above capacity every day. It doesn’t take a major blitz to shut the state down. It could happen any day, in any weather, for any of many reasons.

    The only way to prevent the same from happening again, then, is to reduce traffic. Meaning — and the report actually says this — we need to stop trying to build our way out of traffic problems, because we can’t; we’re way beyond that now. We need to instead get people out of cars and onto sidewalks, bikes, buses, and trains, where more asses take up way less space. They also take time to acknowledge the related environmental issues, and the fact that fewer cars also means less overall fuel consumption.

    For some reason, neither the Mayor or the Governor found these findings compelling enough to discuss these recommendations publicly. Nor, for that matter, the Sierra Club report that did.

  4. Plaid and Stripe is a dog store. The owner owns two beagles – named…can you guess? plaid and stripe. Guess what is on each of their collars too? Very cute pups (and store!)

  5. joe bernstein

    Cicilline is a miserable little shit and he himself has never driven a car-he’s always been chauffered around going back way before he was mayor.He has the parking enforcers making life miserable for shoppers on the north end of Hope Street as well as Wayland Square.He has also eliminated a lot of previously legal parking spaces.How does this help business?I didn’t hear of a parking ticket amnesty this Christmas season,did anyone else?
    Every so often an “emergency parking ban/tow zone”is set up for no discernible reason-not like there was construction or something.I think the little prick just enjoys screwing with the public.He lies every time he answers a question.

  6. Plaid & Stripe is the store that sells dog clothing, I think.

    But according to my mother, Cicilline repented and you don’t have to pay your tickets if they were from before the snow started. (Although this is according to my mother and not anywhere official, so don’t blame me if it’s not true.)

  7. I was one of those merchants who was understandably upset. I did go in to open my shop (even though you gave me permission to stay home Beth. Do I listen?) and noticed lots of tickets on cars. The local weasel/parking enforcer happened by just as I was debating opening, and he warned me about it. He was actually going in to shops and warning them about the ban, which makes me think he’s less of a weasel than before. Of course he probably waited until after he ticketed the area to offer the information, but whatever!

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