Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Parking ticket Scrooge has no holiday spirit: Bah humbug!

Bah humbug. On Wednesday, while I was inside the Denver Motor Vehicle office renewing my plates, my car parked outside on Welton Street was ticketed -- for expired plates. Yesterday, I visited the parking referee -- and here's some free advice that will cost me $75:

Do not expect mercy this holiday season.

I'd poured out my sad tale of woe to the ref: I'd waited a month for the documentation to come in the mail, then finally went to the DMV on Welton (quite a jolly place that day, by the way). Because the parking lots were packed with fellow scofflaws trying to get right with the god of motor vehicles on the first of the month, I'd parked on the street and stuffed my meter to the max, because lines were spilling out the door. (My meter still had seven minutes when I returned to my car and found the expired-plates ticket, which is three times as expensive as an expired meter ticket.)

Really, who parks on the 2700 block of Welton other than someone visiting the DMV? Should the city's parking managers really prey on those attempting to come clean? That's hardly sporting! And to be ticketed just twelve hours after the thirty-day grace period on my plates had expired!

Yes, the ref said succinctly, but the point of that grace period is to take care of your business within the thirty days.

One small consolation: While my belated business at the DMV took an hour and 53 minutes, there was no wait to see the referee.


More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "CLEAR returns to Denver International Airport, backed by ex-cabinet official Michael Chertoff."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun