Monday, October 3, 2011

Post Office Parking

Here's the thing, you're cruising around old town Key West, desperate to park and go have fun on Duval Street, and all you can see is lines of parked cars, no open spaces and a few seemingly high priced pay to park lots. Then you see an empty unsupervised lot at the post office on Whitehead Street... Don't do it!

The lot is well posted but you would be amazed how many people ignore the signs and stop off here anyway. And the sign is in English, Spanish and Creole. So where's the excuse for stupidity and in what language is that written? In green, that's where.

Being a tourist is no excuse at all for being lame. Then the police get the call that "My car's been stolen!" Luckily the tow companies are required to check in with the police to make sure the car isn't stolen so dispatchers can tell the unhappy driver the vehicle has been towed by owner of the private property. That makes themselves really happy because it was never their fault they ignored the signs.

The sign says what you need to know, and they say the basic fee is $235. That or pay to park properly.

God knows the city has made it easy to pay for any meter west of Elizabeth Street. Cash or credit card, select the amount of time and get a receipt for the dashboard, good at any meter and if you move you can park at another meter as long as the ticket is valid.

Motorcycle parking is free in designated spots all over town, which is even better. If you have to part at 400 Whitehead Street there is paid parking in a lot across from the post office if you prefer that to feeding a meter about a buck fifty an hour.

Parking is such an issue in old town Key West it seems about as unlikely to be solved as the Palestinian Question or what to do with Greece's national debt. So we trundle on towing and arguing and disagreeing and getting mad at our neighbors.

I know commuting doesn't help climate change but it sure is nice to live in a stilt house in the 'burbs with ample parking underneath, and a motorcycle to ride to town to try to find some of that free motorcycle parking.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Chuck and the Pheebs said...

"It's okay! I'm on vacation!"

(Walking towards Kelly's)"I know - I'm going to the post office."

"The manager at the guesthouse said I could park anywhere."

These are some of the responses I've recevied when point out the sign.

My solution? I call Parking Enforcement. If I have a chance, I stick around to see the reaction. Lends a whole new dimension to the term, "going postal".

Anonymous said...

So what happens if you go to the PO and the line is REALLLLLLLLLY long (for example here in Citrus County, it can take 30 mins+ to get to the flipping counter on an average day).

Since the sign says "15 minutes" are you truly and completely screwed?! Is there any recourse? Can the Postmaster intervene? Does the PO give out excuse notes like when I was a young worker in DC and if the Metro ran late, you could go to the main ticket booth at the station and get an excuse note for your employer explaining that you really weren't a slacker; Metro was running late that day. (Really! But, of course, I only used this feature once, or twice...)

I sit pondering questions like this after the children have slouched off to bed... I think I need a nice calming drink.

Diana in Citrus

Conchscooter said...

The towing really happens after the post office is closed. They used to let people park but then that stupid bugaboo "liability" America's excuse to be a collective asshole raised it's ugly head.
Chuck is one too but he has fun.

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

Hey - I'm just giving the self-absorbed a wake-up call.

Seems there's a fine line between mistanthropic curmudgeonly behaviour and a scatologial orifice - a function of authorship, perhaps?

Asking the tough questions,


Anonymous said...

If you have ever been to the PO parking lot after hours you would see an empty lot with the post office open so you can check your mail in a PO box or send a letter. There is a 15 minute limit, however the towing company sees a car there and tows it! They do not time how long it is there and if they did they have no proof!

The towing company which tows from the PO lot is "shady" at best. I observed them one night tow upwards of 20 cars, two men and a child would hop out of the rig, one would hook the car while the other and the child would standby (to give the impression it was a distressed vehicle---as to not alert others parked there).
This is big$$ for them atleast $225 per tow, for them to tow it about four miles to their yard. Do you think this is right? This is an empty lot with plenty of spaces. Those who park here are not hindering the operation of the PO, which I believe was the propose for the tow enforcement, not to make the towing company rich.

Conchscooter said...

Which all may be true but it is well sign posted PRIVATE property. If the post office manager doesnt want people parking there what do you propose? Communism? Suits me. I guess.