By Donny Dobovich
have been feeling very hateful lately. This sort of hate was too vague
to direct at one particular recipient until I had to wake up at nine
in the fucking morning to move my car to the other side of the street.
“At last!” I muttered in vexed state.
I have a target for this week's hate column, I thought to myself.
Actually, Buffalo's ill-conceived alternate
parking has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time.
On most of Buffalo's residential streets,
cars are not allowed to park on one side of the street for half a
week from 9am until 4pm. On the narrower two-way streets, alternating
sides of the street must remain vacant at all times.
Now this does make sense in the winter,
when bulky snowplow trucks need to clear the roads in a somewhat orderly
fashion. But how about in the summer? Why the fuck should all cars
be crammed to one side of the street during the daytime on weekdays?
It's not like the city needs the space for anything.
In determining the time that most alternate
parking goes into effect, the city assumes that people drag their
ass out of their house or apartment before 9 in the morning. But what
about all of us low-wage schleps and bohemian types that have late
night jobs or just like to sleep in? I think it’s more likely that
the city chooses 9am for exactly this reason; they know they can jack
up revenue because people won’t make it out of bed in time to avoid
I receive many a ticket, in the form
of a bright orange gift on my windshield, when I emerge from my house
at two in the afternoon. In most instances, I can recall, in a pissed-off
haze, a foggy vision of coming home nice and buzzed the previous evening,
not really know what fucking day it was, and parking on the wrong
side of the street.
What’s worse, the fine is often doubled
or tripled by the time I get around to paying it, because I’m lazy
and forgetful, and often too broke to shell out for even a meager
fine on any given day. And now my greedy city has suddenly doubled
the cost of parking tickets, with no warning and for no apparent reason,
except they want more free money. I hate that.
Now I know what you are thinking, right....
“Shut the hell up Donny, it's your own goddamn fault.”
Actually, no. The goddamned corrupt
city needs to realize that if it were not for lazy asses like me,
this city would be an even bigger dump. I consider myself an artistic/culturally
enriched kinda guy. People like me give flavor to parts of the city
that would otherwise be backward, Labatt Blue-collar grease pits.
We shouldn't be punished for living in the city. Give me another Day-Glo
orange harbinger of poverty, and I will gather all my buddies and
flee, turning the few remaining hip sections of the city into shitty
armpit stains like Lovejoy, Depew, and North Tonawanda.
I'm too broke to go to any city, in part due to an accumulation of
pointless parking tickets, which essentially amount to legal theft.
So just do me a favor Buffalo, and let me move my car by noon, not
The next question some of my more faithful
readers might ask is, “Donny, I thought you hated cars, suburbia,
and all the mess the comes along with accommodating automobiles. Why
are you suddenly an advocate for more car clutter?”
Well, there is a quick and easy answer.
This is Buffalo, where the car rules. See, in any heavily populated
real city (Los Angeles does not apply), I would be all for reducing
the amount of cars cluttering city streets. In real cities, denizens
can get places by walking, biking and mass transit.
Buffalo has piss-poor mass transit,
not to mention only a handful of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
Even these areas lack what is needed for a truly urban neighborhoods.
For example, the Elmwood strip and Allentown don't even have any real
grocery stores. A mandatory car trip to Wegman’s is still required
to get any decent food.
So, despite my disdain for cars and
car culture, I really need mine as long as I live in Buffalo. I would
also like to have my parking space and eat it too.
Curse the evil bastards that thought
up summertime alternate parking. I hate you!