Park and Whine

Many Bostonians view parking tickets as part of the routine expense of owning a car in the city, much like paying for insurance or excise tax. No matter how hard drivers try to be good, at some point they end up with the orange envelope staring up at them from the windshield.

1207834262Which is why reaction to Mayor Tom Menino’s plan to raise the fees on parking tickets has met with a lot of opposition.

Since the idea was Menino’s, you can assume that Howie Carr doesn’t approve. The Globe’s Kevin Cullen ran into hizzoner in the North End and found he’s feeling a little defensive about all the criticism.

He said raising the fines is long overdue. He said some, like parking in a fire lane, hadn’t been raised for 17 years. He said it’s his duty to pay the bills. “How else am I going to raise money?” the mayor asked.

. . .Pole dancing lessons, perhaps?

The Herald got the man-on-the-street perspective, most of which was negative. Business owners say suburbanites won’t come into Boston to shop, and working stiffs cite the increased fees as another burden during these tough economic times.

The Globe talked to some of the city councilors who will ultimately pass the budget and found them less opposed than the average resident.

“The bottom line is, if you don’t want to be affected by the rise in fines, don’t break the law,” [City Councilor Rob Consalvo] said. “You have an easy way to exempt yourself from this.”

It isn’t that black and white. A few months ago, the paper of record reported on the confusing signage on some of the city’s streets that can stick well-intentioned drivers with parking tickets. Parking spots are scarce. It’s fine to tell drivers to play by the rules, but you can’t make the game impossible to win.