My Tour de Force keeps rollin’

My dream of a white — I mean blue — Christmas may come true!

A lil’ early but I’ll take it.

I’ve been tailing, figuratively, a car in this subdivision for weeks. The issue is twofold.

(1) The illegality of a car abandoned and/or unmoved for days to weeks at a time, per local code:

“Any vehicle left unattended on a street/highway for 48 hours may be removed by any police officer/employee.”

(2) The incredible strain that the owner, by leaving his car perpetually unmoved, is putting on residents already struggling under the weight of a severe parking shortage.

Like I’ve said, welcome to the Big (Rotten) Apple of Arizona … La Aldea subdivision in metro Phoenix, where parking’s as scarce as New York City’s.

By tailing this vehicle that the owner’s storing on the streets as if they’re his personal garage, I mean persistently and diligently reporting it to the police.

They come tag the car — big shoutout to the police, THANK YOU! — with an orange 48-hour warning stickie on the window.

The car owner eventually spots this, moves his car then leaves it to sit again indefinitely. Or until he’s warned again and under the threat of towing.

The car’s actually never driven or used.

Like a chess piece, it just gets moved — by inches or by yards — enough to satisfy the legal requirement that it be moved and thereby evading towing

The car was last tagged Saturday when I called it in.

Some 24 hours later, it still sat, warning tag still on the window.

YES!!! We’re halfway home!

Another 24 hours and the car could be legally towed, an invaluable space opened for the community and this longstanding problem maybe resolved.

Then the very next moment, the car … wait for it … got moved.

Obviously its owner spotted the warning — his 4th or 5th in two weeks — and moved his car …


But where?!

This is progress because thus far,  he’s moved it, well, as little as possible.

My roommate, who’s less invested in doing the right and legal thing than I but is supportive witness, noticing the car was moved after this last warning actually cruised these streets twice to locate it.

Didn’t find it, he said.

How curious.

I’m gonna be conducting my own Tour de France here shortly.

Make that Tour de Force.

My one goal, my one purposeful and impassioned ambition by year’s end is to get this resolved, legally and justly.

The car needs to go.

The owner needs to assume responsibility and face the results of his ongoing (shitty and illegal) actions.

The situation on all levels needs to be rectified and righted, like a listing ship at sea.

How that happens is not my call. That is to the divine.

I’m only the driving force. Driving. No pun intended.

I need to just keep doing the right and fair and legal thing. Each veery step of the journey and no matter its length or duration.

I have stayed the course, despite massive obstacles and roadblocks — again, no pun intended — heaved my way, many of which were from the HOA itself.

A loathsome bunch but that’s another subject.

Part of me’s elated. This may finally be resolved.

Part of me’s cautiously optimistic.

Just because the car’s not illegally hogging space at the moment doesn’t mean it won’t reappear.

So a pending celebration. Ice the champagne but don’t unleash those bubbles just yet.

I’m off to scour these subdivision streets for that Subaru Tribeca (with New Mexico plates). See whether the results are identical to my roommate’s.

My Tour de Force keeps on rollin’ … yet with Spirit as my witness, the finish line may may be in sight! {yahoo!}























Give Jerks an Inch, They Take Miles of Parking Eternally

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.

No matter.

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

Parking Purgatory

Maricopa County, Arizona 85234

Cash for my soon-to-explode bar tabs also gratefully accepted.