In between having a temporary parking sticker and getting our residential parking sticker, I had to move the car every two hours. I could have just gotten a third temporary parking sticker, but at $15 each, it was starting to add up and I rationalized that we were just a few days away from getting a residential pass and, anyway, I enjoyed the breaks from my work.
But the city of Philadelphia is serious about ticketing. There is a guy who walks around my neighborhood all day long updating in a little notebook which non-permit cars are parked where. I wondered if he came to recognize me as I walked by every two hours and if he associated me with the Maryland car that he found on different streets every couple of hours. I wondered if he thought I was crazy for not getting a pass or if he was hopeful that I would be late once so that he could finally ticket the car.
So I certainly eyed some of the side streets (the ones that look like alleyways), wondering if I would get ticketed if I just left the car there, off of the main streets. But there are signs warning against this, and given the ticket guy's constant presence, I decided it wasn't worth it.
I did see other cars parked in these side streets though and assumed that they were the people who lived there, maybe parking a second car in front of their personal driveway. Or maybe they were visitors who didn't want to deal with the two hour rule of street parking. But I didn't pay much more attention until this morning, when down below my open window I heard a man yelling, "Stop parking there!" It struck me as such a strange sentence, his use of progressive tense when parking isn't really something I think of as an ongoing action. But he meant, of course, that the person had been parking there day after day. I didn't hear the driver yelling back, but the guy yelled about how he was sick of not being able to get out of his driveway. And then I heard a woman's voice, shaking with anger, almost teary (the way I get when I am angry and I am almost embarrassed when tears accompany my anger), also yelling about how she can never get out of her driveway either. Their frustration was very striking, since the person they were yelling at was obviously right there. They weren't yelling to cover distance, they were yelling because they were mad.
And what did the driver do? Pulled the car backwards down the side street to park along the side of my building, where there are no driveways. I have no idea why this person doesn't just get a temporary pass or park on the street and move their car when the time is up. Maybe (s)he already has a pass and just doesn't like parking on the street? I don't understand, just as the ticketing guy probably didn't understand me. :)