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Fighting the Man

During a Sunday evening of filming of “Twelve Ways to Say ‘I’m Sorry'”, I parked at the corner of de la Commune and St. Laurent, between the curb and the fire hydrant in the photo below.

Upon returning to my car, I discovered a parking ticket for parking within five meters of the corner.

Did you know you can’t park within five meters of a corner? I don’t think anybody does. That’s 15 feet, give or take. Give 15 feet of parking space in this city, and it will be taken by somebody parking a car.

I was doubly upset because I followed the signage on the road, labelled Sign 1 and Sign 2 in the photo above.

Sign 1:

Sign 2:

I’ve decided to fight this ticket rather than pay the $57.

I sent an e-mail to the City of Montreal to ask whether the parking regulations stipulate: a) that there’s no parking allowed at any time, except that delivery vehicles may park there 9h-17h Monday to Friday; or b) that any vehicle may park there any time except 9h-17h Monday to Friday when only delivery vehicles may park there?

The commonly accepted interpretation is b), and the city’s answer confirmed that. That is the keystone of my defence.

The signage clearly indicates that the spot I was in is reserved for deliveries 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it implies through the parking regulations – and confirmed by the city – that parking is legal there at all other times. If parking were not legal there, the sign would indicate no parking at any time.

I sent in my explanation and photographic evidence.

There is a tangential issue as well: who the heck gets or gives tickets for parking within five meters of a corner? I wondered that, too, for five days – until the Gazette published a small article that informed its readers that the Green Onions (Montreal’s parking ticket agents) would be cracking down on this offence.

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