free parking

Since I need to be home ASAP after work today, I decided to drive into BART instead of walking as I usually do (20 min).  I find on my car a warning (thank heavens it wasn't an actual citation) that I'd been parked in the same spot for over 72 hours, and according to Berkeley Traffic Ordinance 14.36.050 B.M.C, that's a no-no.

This was the first time I'd ever heard about the 72 hour rule, and I have severely mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, it makes sense to keep broken cars off the streets and to keep the parking dynamic alive, but on the other hand, I only drive once or twice a week, usually only on weekends.

As previously said, I walk to BART and take that into work every day, and then other than that, I use my car to go to church and pick up groceries.  I don't want to drive more than I have to, for both environmental reasons and out of pure selfish convenience.  I don't want to buy a monthly parking spot to avoid this either--that's just silly.

Seeing as I've been living in Berkeley proper for nearly a year doing the same thing, I think they aren't too strict about the 72 hour rule and a neighbor possibly called me in.  It really isn't too big of a deal--if I see the tell-tale chalk markings on my tires that they're watching my car, I can just move it or wipe them off.  But the whole things seems so silly.  I'd rather that a neighbor just ask me not to park in front of their house instead of calling the police for pity's sake.  And I'd also rather have the time limit be a week instead of three days.

Maybe it's just my use case, but I feel that for people that own a car and use it infrequently, they're more likely to estimate their usage as "weekly" than "about every few days."  Work patterns occur on a weekly schedule and most people don't drive half the time and use other methods of transport the other half, except maybe carpoolers.  Admittedly, this assumes that people work every day of the week.  I guess my point is that this law was created with the idea that if you have a car, you should use it frequently, a premise with which I disagree.

This won't be too troublesome for my remaining time in Berkeley as N is currently on his way to drop off his "love-bug" (which is actually an ancient Toyota Corolla) at his parents' place in Colorado, where it will now live.  He'll use my car as well when he gets back, so it'll be in more frequent use.  And then I can just monitor for chalk in addition.

Anyway, that's enough on that.  Just to cheer me up after being flustered by this warning, the boxes where you pay for parking at BART needed to be restarted (displaying a nice Windows 2000 logo with the message "it is now okay to shut down your computer"), so parking (usually $1) was free this morning.  Life's pretty good to me.

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