A bizarre election-year case of selectively enforcing the city’s largely ignored 24-hour overnight parking ordinance.

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“They can tell which car out of 24,000 New Albany cars have been parked for over 24 hours. But they can’t catch people who break into cars every weekend.”
— Facebook comment

A New Albany resident posted the ticket from a few days ago and recounted his experience at the Facebook members-only page called New Albany Indiana. It prompted a spirited discussion about selective enforcement and overall civic priorities, with another group member undertaking to do necessary research.

Alright, I emailed Chief (Todd) Bailey, showed him both the pink violation form and the most recent codes from 2018. This is what he said.

“Whoever printed the warning notice made a mistake. It should read 72.15. I’ll get it handled. I know of nothing that reserves parking for residents in front of their house outside of a Residential Parking Permit. Those can be obtained from the City Clerk for a few. Outside of that they share the public parking on the street and must move every 24 hours.”

And the ordinance incorrectly referenced on the ticket, which by all rights should render the citation invalid?

Here’s the correct passage.

Bookmark§ 72.15 OVERNIGHT PARKING.
It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle parked on the public streets of the city for a period in excess of 24 hours or to park any motor vehicle which is held for sale or one which is not in running condition on the public streets of the city in excess of 24 hours.
(Ord. 4573, passed 8-27-1956; Ord. G-09-15, passed 5-4-2009) Penalty, see § 37.02

It’s telling that when Bailey gazes out into neighborhoods where petty crime and slumlordism remain firmly entrenched — places that haven’t yet benefited from Jeff Gahan’s eight years of luxury enhancement — he recommends giving his boss more of the loot.


§ 72.20 INDIVIDUAL RESIDENT-ONLY PERMIT PARKING AREAS.

(A) Fees. The Board of Works shall establish and collect an annual uniform fee which shall be required for each resident only parking space. Any resident of the city may apply to receive a resident only parking permit subject to the terms and conditions of this section. The fee collected upon application for a resident only parking permit shall initially be $250 for the first year, and $100 for each subsequent year. The year shall run from January 1 through December 31, and any person who obtains a pass shall pay an amount prorated to the month of the date of the issuance. The fee may be waived upon a majority vote of the Board of Works in the case of any individual showing a special need or hardship. All fees collected shall first go to the expenses of the resident parking only program, then to the nonreverting fund.

It’s strange. If we succeed in convincing neighborhood residents to leave their cars parked for a while while walking or biking downtown, they’ll return to their homes to find a ticket. Conversely, while understanding fully that we as a society have accepted (rightly or wrongly) the notion of using public property to warehouse private vehicles, it seems a modicum of fair warning might have been given — although to do so would require the city to concede it wasn’t enforcing ordinances previously, and as the embodiment of perfection, Gahan cannot make such a concession.

And so we get the usual politically-motivated cluster from the same usual suspects. I directed a few thoughts to Al Knable (elected council person) and Warren Nash (appointed Board of Works gatekeeper) via the Facebook portal.

Al Knable Warren V Nash (tagged): To bring this to the attention of council and the board of works, I’d invite you both to read through this thread. I’d have included other council members and city officials, but it appears that out of almost 15,000 members here, you’re the only two from city government. It was my intention to attend this morning’s board of works meeting, but something came up at work, so let’s start here. It’s hard to look at this an any way apart from it being a crazy, incoherent muddle. We see tires chalked/sharpied and tickets issued in some places, not others; the police chief conceding the ordinance number on the ticket is mistaken; and folks in the neighborhoods asking some really good questions about the (shall we say) abrupt change in emphasis. Are downtown parking regulations yet being enforced? How can we have rules for some parts of town and not others? I understand that Al will pay attention and Warren will brush me off, but please note that I’m not taking a position — yet. The two of you have dibs to come up with some sort of explanation of why this is happening. Thanks for your time.

If NA Confidential gets an answer, so will you. It’s an election year, so virtually anything might happen.

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