I need a drink. And I don’t mean this second cuppa coffee.
I’m in Parking Purgatory. I’m a renter in a metro Phoenix subdivision where parking is as severely scarce as downtown New York’s.
But that’s not why I’m writing.
I’m in Parking Purgatory. A renter in a subdivision ruled by an HOA, aka Hell Of Absolutes.
Blog-worthy though that be, that’s also not why I’m writing.
I’m writing ’cause there’s a car that’s sat abandoned in the subdivision street for weeks. WeekS.
A silvery Subaru Tribeca with two flat rear tires and New Mexico plates. For all we know, its owner may be back in Albuquerque drunk while some local friend babysits his unmoved car.
Son of a bitch.
Abandoning a car is illegal. As in against the law. As in certifiably towable.
Long highly-aggravating story short:
The HOA is useless. They can and will do nothing. These are public streets.
So I contacted the police. Reported the vehicle. With every detail. I’m a natural detective, uber meticulous, detailed and thorough. Nothing escapes my attention unless I let it.
They came out Tuesday and tagged the car. An orange notice that reads:
“Any vehicle left unattended on a street/highway for 48 hours may be removed by any police officer/employee.”
Orange water-based paint indicating the position of the rear (flat) tire to pavement was also applied.
The police told me: “Monitor and report back after 48 hours.”
I did, do. Three days later, car’s still there. (Big surprise. Not.)
They came back today. Left a SECOND orange note — same warning. “Any vehicle left for 48 hours can be towed.”
And a second application of orange striping, this time from front tire to pavement.
Smoke from my ears blasts fast and furious.
Not only am I — and I ALONE in a community of thousands, with NO help from the HOA and some help from the police, thank god — working overtime to do the right thing in an illegal matter but a community matter. That car’s taking up PRIME PRICELESS REAL ESTATE.
Here’s the rub.
The car, after its first warning, was “moved.” Approximately 6 to 12 inches forward. Most certainly it was pushed. Not driven. Rolled.
I’m a little person and even I could push a car a foot!
Inches juuuuuuust enough to misalign the painted orange stripe from tire to pavement and legally satisfy the “car was moved” requirement.
Absolute total bullshit!!!!!!!
That’s not smoke from my ears you see. They’re flames!
I got really lucky.
I bumped into the patrolling officer as I was walking to the illegal car to take more photos. Document document document. Evidence evidence evidence.
We had a friendly, long, informative chat.
A game of cat-and-mouse is under way.
Yes, an officer can cite the car with 48-hour warnings and painted orange stripes from tire to road a thousand times.
As long as the car’s been moved within 48 hours — even if pushed an inch — it cannot be towed.
He said sometimes a rock’s placed on top of a tire and if it’s moved or gone after 48 hours, the car’s “been moved.”
First thing I’m gonna do if I’m a parking asshole is take that rock and heave it into this desert! Costly tow and impound thwarted!
It gets worse.
He said that citizens sometimes have to call to report the same abandoned vehicle 20, 30 times until something’s done. So far, I’ve called in twice. Prospects are not good.
Reason being, he said, that sometimes the owner, graced with indefinite 48-hour allowances, gets lazy. Or forgets. So the car doesn’t get moved that inch.
Then and only then can it be towed.
So any citizen doing the right thing and the LEGAL thing must be in it for the long haul. The very long haul. The haul that reads: Welcome to Infinity.
Oh my f-ing gawd.
Parking Purgatory. Did I mention I live there? Forget the address. Just address letters and bills to :
Exhausted Inflamed Citizen Doing the Right Thing
Maricopa County, Arizona 85234
Cash for my soon-to-explode bar tabs also gratefully accepted.