Now, I'm not going to teach you how to get out of parking tickets. I'm going to help you save yourself a mountain of frustration when you, your neighbors or clients approach their car in the morning and find a nice little present accompanied by a bitter yellow envelope tucked under the wiper blade.
Let me set this up for you: I grew up in downtown Chicago before moving to central Denver 10 years ago. A lot changed between the two cities: most notably the weather and severe drop-off in good Thai restaurants, but there's one thing about city living that followed me from Chicago to Denver and haunted me until yesterday: if you don't move your car by 8 a.m. on street cleaning day, you will get a ticket.
Granted, the concept of moving your car from the street in front of your house may sound like a foreign concept to the covenant-controlled, attached-garage masses, but everybody that lives in a major metropolitan area gets to abide by the absolutely inflexible rules of their friendly neighborhood Streets and San. And one of those rules is getting out of the way of the sweepers. I kid you not: I have been in front of my house in Driving Park at 7:59 a.m., getting into my car and seeing the meter maid at the end of the block warming up her pen. I have been able to grant clemency for a couple of my neighbors here and there, but at least in my neighborhood, if you haven't hit the gas by 8, you might as well reduce your spending money by at least $25.
I've lived under the shroud of the Denver Public Works' mobile profit center for 10 years, and I average about 2 tickets a year. Yes, I'd like to have that $ back, but it's absolutely the principle of the thing. I know how to read a calendar and I know that the first Tuesday of every month is street cleaning on MY side of the street, and it's Wednesday for the other side of Humboldt. Not a difficult concept. To add insult to injury, the street cleaning sign is in MY front yard.
The worst part is that I'm not alone. My entire neighborhood likes the convenience of parking on the street as opposed to making the three-point turn into the alley garage. Plus, we're a front yard neighborhood so we know when people are home. That makes for a great neighborhood - actually, a lucrative one for the city. April 1 is the first day our street gets cleaned, and the occasion is marked by 4 to 5 tickets flapping under wiper blades. I've seen neighbors move their cars to the wrong side of the street two days in a row and end up $50 lighter. Pathetic.
That is, until now. Unlike Chicago, Denver actually wants you to move your car so they can clean the gutters. As a result, they signed on with www.MyMotorMaid.com. My Motor Maid is an automated reminder service that anybody in Denver can sign up for to remind them when the next street cleaning is coming down their street. It takes about 30 seconds to sign up and once you've received the confirmation email, you'll be alerted with plenty of time to move your car.
I just forwarded this link to all my clients and friends in Denver.
The bad news: My Motor Maid is only in 10 cities across the country, all but Denver are in California. Even if you don't live in Denver proper, that shouldn't stop you from helping out your urban, garage-challenged friends from getting nabbed by the meter maids. If you don't live in one of these cities, email all of your friends on the last day of the month to remind them about street sweeping. It's coming in two weeks!
Drop me a line if you have any questions about this service. I am proud of Denver for offering it, but I need to watch my speed. They need to make up the revenue some other way.
Karl Lueders is an award-winning residential Realtor with The
Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek. You can contact him at 720-971-8267.
You can search for homes at KarlLueders.com.