Friday, July 1, 2011

A Compass, a Magnifying Glass, and a Lawyer

Want to park in Seattle?  Bring a compass, a magnifying glass for small print, and a lawyer to resolve multiple and often conflicting directives.

I got my first parking ticket in this city shortly after arriving, courtesy of a set of signs very much like this one.

Legal parking in Seattle requires not only exceptional eyesight and an unerring sense of direction (even when the streets aren't on a grid), but also the ability to resolve confusing and unclear language.

Let's think about this for a moment. If the city really cared about making parking effective rather than skimming dollars off people who aren't clever enough or lack sufficient time to decipher these various signage clues, these signs would be clear and unambiguous.  It's not that difficult to make clear signs.

I don't have anything against parking limitations. What I object to is revenue enhancement apathetically (and pathetically) disguised as civic infrastructure.

This is just one more way that Seattle shows it doesn't care about its citizens' welfare anywhere near as much as it cares about their dollars.


  1. I'm afraid bringing a lawyer won't help. I happen to be one and even I can't make heads or tails of the signs most of the time.

  2. That's because you're lacking a magnifying glass, compass, and a USER. As a lawyer - no offense, I hope - you're a tool. You need a user to apply you correctly to the problem at hand, whatever it might be. Parking, in this case.