2009-09-14

From My Insider's Guide To Athens (forthcoming sooner or later)

Tip No. 42.

You park downtown. You put money in the meter. You do some shopping. You pass your car walking from one store to another. A front tire is marked with yellow chalk. Don’t panic. Yes, the chalk was placed there by the parking enforcement authorities. But my sources — very highly placed (no, not that highly, but highly) — tell me you should panic only when you see three (3) chalk marks on your tire. Here’s why: Parking enforcement personnel take about an hour to make one circuit. So a tire with two marks means the car has been parked at least one hour. A tire with three marks means the car has been parked at least two hours. If an enforcement person happens upon a car with three marks already on it, that car probably has been there well over two hours, and the legal limit is two hours. Ticket time. The system, of course, has its shortcomings. My 14-year-old already has pointed out several of them. But this is reality, Greg, and we should be satisfied with systems that work well enough.

For more images and insights from my Monday morning walkabout downtown, click here.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Why did they extend certain meters to a two-hour limit without actually allowing the meter more than one hour on the timer? That's not much better than a one-hour limit; it just allows you to extend it while you're parked, meaning you have to leave the place you've come to visit anyway.