Monday, September 15, 2008

To park or not to park

My daughter runs cross country.

With legs as long as hers, it's a good fit. (Unfortunately, she's a little pokey.)

Friday afternoon , I managed to catch her race at the park in the city where I work, and I left feeling perplexed about something I witnessed.

The entrance to Skyview Lake Park in this city is a long street. There's not much parking available so many spectators -- some visiting from as far away as 70 miles -- were forced to park on both the north and south sides the street. I parked nearly a half mile away.

As I walked into the park, I observed two police officers parking beneath the stop sign at the entrance to the park on the north side. There are two No Parking signs on the north side -- one has been covered in dark blue spray paint and it's difficult to tell whether it's an official sign, the other sign is only visible once you have driven quite a ways into the park.

Skyview Lake Park is the home of our annual Fourth of July celebration. Big Bang Boom is one of the best displays in the state of Nebraska, drawing in close to 25,000 spectators. (Imagine finding parking for all of those cars. It's a nightmare.)

Anyway, these two police officers (who parked illegally themselves) doled out parking tickets to at least 30 cars.

Now, I understand that these officers were just doing their job. BUT I'm troubled by the impression I'm sure my city left on the out-of-towners watching the meet. The city where I work is the hub of retail for the Northeast corner of Nebraska, and I'm sure Friday would have been a grand opportunity for the people watching the meet to take in a bite to eat at a local restaurant and shop in our boutiques on main street.

But I'm sure shopping, eating and spending money in a town whose cops just doled out 30 parking tickets when there was no place else to park was the last thing on their mind.

Like I said, I realize these officers were just doing their job, but this is small-town Nebraska. We're known for friendliness and courtesy. Wouldn't it have displayed a better sense of ambassadorship to have announced over the loudspeaker that these cars had to be moved before they doled out tickets?

Or am I out of line by thinking this way?

Regardless, the whole incident made me embarrassed to be part of this town.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sounds like a raw deal, Kat. A special event in the city that could promote some much needed cash revenue..... That's messed up.

Do they do that on the Fourth of July, too? Jeepers!

You are not out of line by thinking that way, I, too, would be embarrassed.

How'd your daughter end up doing in the race?

Kat Harris said...

Boy am I glad I'm not the only one feeling that way.

I thought maybe I was out of line because they are cops and are just doing their job. And then I thought maybe I was just harboring some deep-seeded anger toward them for past failures. (Long story.)

My daughter placed 48th out of 53. She's pokey, but I'm proud of her for finishing. Those are some long races, and she's only been at it a short time.

JC said...

I agree -- think should have said something over the loudspeakers.

TerriRainer said...

I'm not going to be popular for this, but you were right about them doing their job.

Those 30 tickets WILL bring revenue in...for the city at least.

Maybe they can replace those No Parking signs!

:) Terri