Parking job tests laws of state as well as physics

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2014 - 12:39 PM

A driver backed this tiny Smart Fortwo Passion perpendicular in an open space between two legally parked vehicles and left the front wheels facing S. 7th Street across from the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis.

Photo: Star Tribune, Tim Harlow

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It’s well known that finding on-street parking in downtown Minneapolis can be a challenge. But creative parking doesn’t pay.

In fact, it will cost you, as a recent user of the car-sharing service Car2Go found out.

The user backed the tiny Smart Fortwo Passion horizontally in an open space in between to two legally parallel-parked vehicles and left the front wheels facing toward S. 7th Street across from Hennepin County Government Center.

That broke two laws, said John Elder, a Minneapolis police spokesman. The first was a city ordinance that prohibits more than one vehicle per metered space. The second was a state law that requires that right wheels (or left wheels on a one-way street) of vehicles to be parallel with and within 12 inches of the curb.

That made it pretty easy to slap a ticket on the car.

“That is a pretty clear violation of the parking rules,” said Josh Johnson, the car-sharing service’s Minneapolis manager, whose customers have received parking tickets in the past but none for reasons like this. “There is a first time for everything.”

Even with two violations, Elder said it’s likely that the offender was cited only for state violation, with a $32 fine.

Car2Go will pay the fine as it is the vehicle’s registered owner, but the scofflaw who used the vehicle will see a credit card charge, Johnson said.

Tim Harlow

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