My sad parking story

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  • This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  miws 8 months ago.
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    Here is my sad parking story. I tried to park in the back of the Trader Joe’s. Never was back there before, first time. The TJ back lot was full, but there was a street spot right across the street on the end, on the same side as the bowling alley. Did not see any signs about parking. Went to the store and came out to a $47 parking ticket because I pulled into that spot instead of backing in.
    So here is my defense to the judge when I go: There are no signs on the end where I parked. In order to see a sign high up on a pole I would have had to walk 6 cars north and look up in the rain. I did not come from or walk in that direction and did not even look that way. The person who I parked next to was also parked head first so I did not question how I parked. BTW, they also got a ticket. Is there any other back-in parking only in West Seattle besides by the bowling alley? Do I have a case?



    If you have the opportunity to go in front of the magistrate (not having had a car for 22 years am not sure if something like this can now be challenged online at some level) I would say do so. Before you head downtown to do so, maybe go back to the area and take pictures if you can. Maybe a wide shot showing where signage is and isn’t, and then something a bit closer up if the wording on the signage isn’t readable in the side shot.

    I’d say to at least give it a try if your schedule allows. (Just remember you’ll have to pay for parking downtown unless you take the bus ;-) ).




    There is back in only parking on 42nd, 4100 block, in front of Holy Rosary.



    Appreciate the feedback! I do plan to go before the magistrate with photos. Maybe the fact that I honestly did not know I was committing an infraction plus bad signage, maybe they will knock some money off the ticket. I will post what happens after I see the magistrate.



    In my experience, going to the court for parking tickets is usually worth it. Out of the four times I’ve done so, three times they dropped the fine completely, and one time they dropped it down to $10. If the parking ticket was indeed something nitpicky, your chances are good. The time that they dropped it to $10, was when I expressed dismay at the $47 charge and admitted I had learned my lesson.



    One other bit of advice I wanted to share earlier but didn’t have time is from my own experience. Be sure to stick to concise answers in response to any questions/comments from the magistrate.

    My only moving violation, 24 years ago in a few months, was in that same area and actually was related to the same building.

    I had pulled into the recessed curb area in front of what was then Huling Buick/Mazda one evening after dark to see if I could spot a guy from the janitorial firm with which I was then associated, that cleaned the Huling properties.

    Didn’t see them, and as I was pulling back out into traffic to continue southbound along Fauntleroy I realized that I needed to get over one more lane to the left so as not to be forced to turn right on Alaska.

    I swear I looked up at the light and saw all green lights for both directions and continued on over and through the intersection. Next thing I know, lights flashing and a blip of the siren behind me from the SPD unit I had seen waiting on Alaska to go east/north. It was truly a case of “…what did I do?”

    The officer states that I ran a red light. So I either misread the lights, (continuing on Fauntleroy red, continuing up Alaska still green), or, in the short amount of time between looking up at the lights, then over my shoulder to move one more lane to the left and then heading through the intersection, the light changed.

    Went downtown to plead my case (worked down there anyway), and when I was explaining all of this to the magistrate, I think she actually interrupted me and said; “Oh, yeah, they just changed the lights at that intersection, and it’s confusing. Ticket reduced to [whatever]”. (They had recently done a full signal upgrade including tweaking the sequence and/or timing, IIRC)

    I think my mouth actually started to say; “Yeah, I should have known to pay closer attention because of that”. But, brain interrupted and said; “Shut Up!!” And I just said; “Yes, it is”.

    So, just a word of caution if you are like me in occasionally not having brain engaged before putting mouth into gear and prone to volunteering too much information! ;-)




    Almost all of White Center’s main commercial strip (16th) is back-in only.



    if this is the parking on the street the bowling alley is on, the signs actually say “back in ANGLE parking only” – and yet no one is parking at an angle and the spaces are not marked at an angle either. (think White Center for correct “back in angle parking”) I actually asked a traffic enforcement officer about it and she said, “just back in, they put the wrong signs up”. so, maybe you could argue that since no one was following the signs you didn’t have to either – after all, the city put up the wrong signs. :)



    The advice about mentioning the sign is spot on. A few years ago, I received a parking ticket on the California extention that comes out near Marination on Harbor Ave.

    I was parked north of a sign that said No Parking South of here.

    If you know that area the side I was parked on had NO houses, NO businesses, and a perfectly usable sidewalk on the other side of the street that went all the way up the hill.

    Evidently even unimproved roads/areas, must be walkable on both sides of the road.

    I did fight that ticket via email, with photo’s attached. The city did lower the fine AND they removed the portion of the sign that said ‘south of here’.



    I understand your frustration. I once got a parking ticket back in NY for a spot that had no indication of no parking, because the pole had been knocked down. I would never think to look on the other side of the car, on the ground, for the broken pole/sign. I fought it and did win. Doesn’t hurt to try.

    There is also back-in angle parking on 41st Ave SW on the block just south of Alaska (4700 block).



    bowling alley has had back in parking for quite a while. I remember when they first changed it …lots of bowlers got tickets for head in parking back then. Took some adjusting.



    When I went to challenge a ticket, I took speaking notes, a good diagram of the street, markings and signs. I addressed the Magistrate respectfully in professional attire. I also took photos from various reasonable angles from a drivers view. Like somebody said above, my explanation was concise and accurate to the best of my ability and recollection. Don’t go Perry Mason on him. My ticket was tossed in my case. Good luck.



    Success! I took a chance and did not go downtown but instead chose the option of adjudication on the website. (Did not want to miss work.) Submitted a statement, diagram, and a couple photos. Concise and to the point as you all recommended. Received a response in a couple days, ticket was totally dismissed. Thank you everyone for your advice! Happy Holidays and remember it is back in parking only on that road by the bowling alley behind TJ’s.



    Well, happy holidays indeed! Good for you, good for them for being reasonable, and thanks for letting us know! Cheers!



    So glad you were able to get that fully cleared, mytwocents, and online(!!). I had a hunch that must be an option nowadays.

    As I mentioned above, I already worked downtown at the time so was able to walk down to the courthouse on my lunch break. I always felt for those that didn’t work downtown and would have to take time off work, and potentially have to pay for parking and where just paying the ticket was easier and cheaper.


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