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