Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, August 27, 2007

Should I Be Vindictive?

I have had a truck since 1989. It is my first truck, and though the paint is getting sun faded, it is still my first truck.

Since the last time I wrote about the parking troubles with my truck, I have moved and now I own a house. Today I went outside and found a bright orange notice on the windshield. I knew what it was. I was being accused of breaking the 168 hour ordinance.

This ordinance was enacted because of the enforcement problems. The ordinance allows the city to tow vehicles parked on a street after 7 days. As you can guess that is something that really only gets enforced when a citizen complaint is lodged.

Recently, a car which was parked along Terre View Drive was moved to a location on my street. It was parked across the street from my house. The car was parked in front of my neighbors house. I think the person was just moving the car from street to street as needed to not be in violation of the 168 hour ordinance. There was writing on the windows reading that the car if for sale. The people who own the house where the car was parked probably got tired of not being able to park on the street in front of their house.

They called parking enforcement to report it. But they also reported my truck IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE! I am not taking someone elses' spot. I have it parked IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE.

By the rules of the ordinance a vehicle parked on the street has to be used for its "intended purpose" at least once every 168 hours (7 days). More or less, it cannot be left parked long term. So if I drive it to the store once a week, it is being moved at least once each 168 hours. It doesn't say I can't repark it upon my return in the same spot in front of my house.

It is not my primary driving vehicle, but I do drive it around Pullman. With the 90° weather I don't drive it as often because there is no A/C besides I love to harm the environment in my gas guzzling V8 with A/C. But I love driving my old truck. It is a stick shift, and driving a stick shift rules.

So the question I have is whether the neighbor actually sees me take the truck for drives. Unless my neighbor is watching my every move, I doubt the neighbor sees me use the truck. I believe they called about the other car, which also got a notice, but they decided to turn in my truck at the same time.

The order says I have to have my truck moved within the next 7 days or I will get a ticket and it will get towed. With the way the ordinance is set up I have to move it off of my street all together. Simply moving it to a different spot on my road will not satisfy the ordinance. I could drive it to a different street or I can park it in my driveway and park my new truck on the road.

What if I leave town for a two-week vacation. When I return, my truck could be towed. That can happen to anyone in the city of Pullman. I don't think that is the intent of the ordinance, but that is what could happen.

I will be speaking with the code enforcement officer about this issue. This is a situation where I think the neighbor is not being very neighborly. In fact this neighbor never parks any vehicles on their driveway. They have room for two vehicles on their driveway, but they always park their car on the road. That is their right, and I wouldn't try to stop any of my neighbors from doing that by call them in. After all, they are my neighbor and they are parking in front of their house.

But here is where I could be un-neighborly myself. Maybe for the next week I will park my old truck in my driveway and use it on a daily basis and park my new truck on the street. But instead of parking it in front of my house. I will park it on the opposite side of the road. I will leave it in the spot the neighbor uses causing them to either use their driveway or park elsewhere.

After that I will switch between my old and new truck parking in the neighbors spot, moving my vehicle every six day. Never again allowing the neighbor to park in their spot.

That would be a pretty mean spirited thing to do, but then again calling in my truck, which NEVER caused my neighbor any problems, was pretty mean spirited as well.

Those who know me, know that I won't do that, but does anyone have any good suggestions about what I should do?


Satanic Mechanic said...

Using my best Emperor Palpatine voice: Yes, you should be vindictive. I use to do that stuff to the "neighborhood nazis" all the time, it drove them nuts. When I lived in the development behind the highschool, there were these women who had nothing better to do than spy on everyone and complained about covenants. They use to complain about my pickup but I expalined to the PPD that it was a work pickup and no more problems.

Tom Forbes said...

Narcing on our neighbor does seem to be a favorite pasttime in Pullman.

BTW, Satanic Mechanic passed me recently. His rig truly has an impressively destructive carbon footprint.

Scotty said...

It is funny the first to respond was "Satanic"... telling me yes, be vindictive. Hmmm.