The parking ticket is a scourge of modern times. I’ve successfully avoided them at home. Not so much when I’m travelling.
Now, sometimes it is because the signage is a little tricky to understand, like this one I encountered in Israel.
Sometimes, I think it is the place. The San Francisco Bay Area seems to be my own parking ticket Twilight Zone. I’ve only visited the place 12 times, and am at two parking tickets and counting. (Luckily, there’s an app for that: Fixed. Snap a pic of your ticket, and Fixed will contest it for you.)
That’s why I’m considering going to Vienna on my next vacation, where you can park with just your mobile. You can make the payment via an app on your iPhone, Blackberry, Windows, Android, or feature phone. It is simple. It works in 14 cities. It doesn’t require change. And the best thing: just before the parking period expires, you get an SMS reminder that invites you to extend your parking time. Finally, no more tickets.
Now, if only I could pay my fine via mobile too, then I wouldn’t have to deal with billing systems that demand you have a zip code. (Are you really going to make me write you a cheque, City of Berkeley, California? And good luck cashing a cheque in pounds sterling.)
It’s good to know bureaucracy is just as inefficient and maddening no matter where you go.