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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 05/17/2009

Making Vandalism Pay

By Marisa Katz

By Dick Bray

Last night, I took two clients to dinner at Clyde's near Verizon Center. I was lucky to find a parking space only five spots past the restaurant, and I was pleased to find a new parking kiosk so I wouldn't have to keep returning to feed a meter. But after trying two credit cards, I realized that the display said the kiosk was out of service.

So I went into the restaurant to get some quarters, only to find the slot stuffed full of coins when I returned. I could not slide in a single quarter. My clients were waiting. I decided that if parking enforcement personnel were to come along, they surely would notice the out-of-service kiosk and not ticket my car. Of course, when I returned about an hour later I had a ticket.

This got me thinking: If the city collects, say, an average of $50 per hour for parking on that block when the machines function but $500 per hour from tickets when they don't, why would it worry about unusable machines? And then I thought: The District must like it when people vandalize these machines, because then it makes 10 times as much in income. And then I thought really, really hard: Perhaps there are vandals who are working for parking enforcement.

Oh, Mr. Mayor, have your workers gone over to the other side?

By Marisa Katz  | May 17, 2009; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  crime  
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Posted by: dcn8ive | May 23, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

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