2/20/2006Buffalo, New York Parking Ticket Trap
Buffalo, New York police triple the number of parking tickets they issued in January by capitalizing on confusing signs.
If on a Saturday in Buffalo, New York you see a parking sign that reads, "Two hour parking except Saturday and Sunday," you might assume parking is unrestricted for the day. That's what police hope as well, as they have tripled the number of $30 tickets handed out to motorists along Elmwood Avenue. Police argue that a small-print sign on the parking meter which reads, "Hours of operation: 8am to 5pm, no charge Sundays, except as otherwise posted," means that there is a charge on Saturday.
"The police were issuing tickets up and down the street, and motorists were arguing -- unsuccessfully -- that Saturdays are free," Clarence Carnahan told the Buffalo News. "Like both my grandfathers used to say, if you want to have control of a situation, create a point of confusion."
The police crackdown on the street, one of the few retail areas left in the city, began last month. Citywide, 5600 parking tickets were issued in January 2006 compared with just 1900 in January 2005. Buffalo Police Lieutenant Salvatore Losi told the Buffalo News that the signs make perfect sense.
"I'm not going to offer an opinion on someone else's confusion," Losi said. "I'm not confused by it. I understand the logic behind it."