The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Convenient Parking, Well Not Really

To follow up on a report by DCist, I thought I'd share my two cents as a fresh out the kitchen resident of the parking nightmare of a city known as Bethesda. Our apartment off of Wisconsin Avenue doesn't offer parking, but instead we're allowed to use the public parking garage across the street through the use of a Montgomery County permit. They basically offer those in the downtown district two kinds of permits: You can buy a PCS Monthly permit for a costly $85, allowing you to park all day and night in designated long term spots throughout the ridiculously long regulated time period of 7am to 10pm, making you exempt from the regime of meter maids ready to nail your illegally parked ass. The other option, which TUL opted for, was the AM/PM permit which is only $20 per month. This is where everything gets, how you say, fucked up.

The Montgomery County website states the following regarding the AM/PM permit and its supposed guidelines:

As a convenience to those parkers now having to make a payment between 7 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 10pm the Division of Operations is offering for sale a parking permit that covers both of these periods. This permit can only be used at long-term meters.

Now, when TUL picked up the permit at the parking garage, the enclosed letter said that the permit was good before 7am and after 9pm. Wait, what the hell? It didn't make the smallest amount sense to purchase a permit that would be useful for only a frickin hour. This somehow had to be some sort of mistake, so I went back to the counter and asked the clerk if this was one of those typographical errors we always hear about. She confirmed that she messed up when typing out the receipt, quickly responding that the correct hours were the opposite, saying I'm allowed to park before 9am and after 7pm. Phew, that was reassuring. Wait... what?!? I thought the hours were 9am and 6pm??? To add more fuel to the immense bonfire of confusion, I glanced at the back of the permit itself and it said you're allowed to park before 9 and after 5. So there you have it, three, yes read'em THREE different ranges of hours of enforcement for a Bethesda parking permit. At least I came back to my car this morning without a ticket; however, I was left with a flyer under each wiper for the same exact ad.

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