Letters

parking

To Whom It Concerns at the City of Portland Bureau of Parking Violations,

This letter is in response to a parking violation (#) my work truck received on Saturday the 24th of March, 2010.  The truck was parked backwards, driver facing the street, in my driveway on NE Holland St.  This is my personal residence, and the driveway leads up to a large gate behind which is my backyard.  When I have tools in my truck and have to leave them there, I back the truck up to the gate so that the vehicle is secure; I usually will only leave the vehicle parked like this for a few hours, because when it is parked so it leaves the sidewalk obscured.  The violation states that four pictures were taken: please refer to them.  The reason for this letter is to appeal the $80 ticket I received for having blocked the sidewalk in front of my property, whilst my truck was parked in my own driveway.  Holland is a very calm street with very little traffic.  Two of my neighbors have basketball courts set up IN THE STREET.  People normally walk by with dogs and kids IN THE STREET, and it is common for many people to be there, IN THE STREET.  It was my assumption that if my truck was parked in my driveway for a few hours, blocking the sidewalk, and someone passed along, they could easily walk towards the front of the truck and continue on the sidewalk.  I understand that, strictly speaking, my truck was violating a common law: to keep the sidewalk clear; given the circumstances, however, and the quietness of my street, I see this as a perfect opportunity for a warning note.  I am a carpenter and work extremely hard; I have many valuable tools and my vehicle has been broken into before: this parking situation is unavoidable from time to time, for short periods.  I request that you see the rationale behind my situation and reverse the charge for this ticket.  Aristotle distinguishes between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law: I am so involved in the spirit of the law that I sometimes fail to see what parts of its letters I have overlooked.  I am sure this is true of many.  I am enclosing a check for $80 along with this explanation.

Yours,

Benjamin Shook