Parking Trap Removed
Nick Mantel reports that his $77 ticket for parking in a â€śtransit zoneâ€ť on the 200 block of Guilford Avenue has been annulled, and the city has removed the sign that misled him to think the spot was perfectly legal.
â€śThe prior discussion basically had them refusing to change the sign and suggesting that I appear in court like all people have a right to,â€ť Mantel, who is an anesthesiologist, wrote Friday. â€śThey came around. I credit the City Paper with changing their minds, and the resulting change to the signage will now at least not lead to others receiving unwarranted tickets.”
Mantel included an emailed letter from Frank Murphy, Deputy Director of the Baltimore Department of Transportation. It reads in part:
We agree that the combination sign posted where you had parked was misleading . . . . I have conferred with Chief [Yolanda] Cason and can confirm that we are abating the citation you received.Â We have also replaced the sign with a No Stopping sign so that the restrictions are now clear.
Murphy did not return a message left on his office voice mail.
Mantel sent us copies of his long email correspondence with various city officials to illustrate the sudden bureaucratic change of heart. He found the Mayorâ€™s office unhelpful, Councilwoman Helen Holton to be the opposite, though she too told him to take the matter to court.
Cason, the Chief of the Safety Division, whose office is on the block where Mantel got his ticket, was dismissive when Mantel first emailed her about the problem on July 19. â€śThis is a posted bus stop,â€ť she wrote. And then, after Mantel persisted: â€śThe bus Stop is posted the sign is before after the drive way and it goes to the sign where you are parked it also by state law requirements has a concrete pad. Baltimore city does not post these signs the state does.â€ť
There was more, but the message was consistent.
â€śI think it’s quite interesting,â€ť Mantel says, â€śbut like you’ve said, not sure there is a conspiracy, more just a lack of effort to change unclear signage or to make signage clear.â€ť
Yep, lack of effort.