Sunday, March 05, 2006

Come see our lovely parking! (But don't park there.)

There's been a bit of controversy in Buffalo lately over...parking. Basically, the Buffalo police are angry because of some kind of contractual thing -- they were supposed to get money and didn't, or they want more money but the City won't give it to them, or something like that -- so the police decided to do something about it. Their solution, or method of protest, is to institute a rigid, "Zero tolerance" policy in enforcing city parking regulations. Which means they're handing out parking tickets numbering in the thousands.

This is all very strange, in my opinion -- I neither live nor work in the City of Buffalo, and when I do have need to head into the City, I've never found that parking is much of an issue (because if there's one thing we've got plenty of, it's surface parking lots). So on the one hand, I'm thinking, Come on, folks -- just find a way to park legally, even if it involves not having your car within sight of your destination and you find yourself walking a bit to get there from your car.

But on the other hand, I have to wonder: Just what is the logic behind the Buffalo police's newfound militance on parking? I mean, in what way is this a reasonable kind of protest? How on Earth does this help the police in their beef with the City? If we're going the "Park illegally, and you should expect a ticket" route, then why was the Buffalo News so easily able to find examples of "Well, OK, some tolerance after all" last week, and how do the police justify not having "zero tolerance" before?

This is all so...stupid.

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