Aspen Parking Department should ease up on offseason enforcement | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Parking Department should ease up on offseason enforcement

We all love living here. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't spent the last 10 years here, but at some point the city needs to realistically acknowledge where its priorities stand.

A few weeks ago I received a parking ticket in the middle of November while parked in a two-hour zone west of Aspen Street. I was using this almost-uninhabited street to park my car and walk well over six blocks to work. When I returned to my car later that evening, which I only drove because of my fear of being stranded waiting for a downvalley bus that only runs to the Woody Creek area once an hour after 8 p.m., I noticed a ticket. One of only two parking tickets I've received in Aspen in the almost decade I've called this place my home.

A day or two later I left for over a week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I recently returned and while sitting in the airport, I tried to pay the extravagantly expensive ticket of $40 that I received on an empty street in November, only to discover that their website was not computing with my phone. I then waited till the next day to pay. When I logged in to pay, I find it is now a $50 fine due to lack of payment for my egregious misconduct.

This amount of money is what many locals live off of for a whole week in the offseason. All complaining aside, I find it hard to understand why people who work, live, register their car, and pay city taxes year-round cannot park a vehicle on a quiet city block in the middle of offseason. Furthermore, why is a ticket $40 instead of the usual $25? I fully understand the parking issue we have in peak season and the need for enforcement, but I cannot understand why the department is so strictly enforced during offseason when there is little need outside of the core and also when more working-class people drive their cars over taking the bus, which operates on an extremely limited schedule.

I have paid my fine as a law-abiding citizen, but I see no need for such strict regulation in one of the slowest months of the year.

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John Hebson

Aspen Village