To the editor:
I recently saw a vehicle with a commercial tag and a company logo “UtiliQuest,” which is likely an asset on UtiliQuest’s books. Readers might be surprised to know this apparently is not considered a commercial vehicle by Alexandria’s alleged parking enforcement officers. This vehicle remained parked in a “restricted,” “residential” spot for 10 days without once moving, yet the truck warranted only a single $40 ticket. The end. The owner likely viewed it as a cheap place to park.
One might ask, “what’s up?” The answer: “commercial vehicle” is now defined by “weight” and “size,” so this one doesn’t count. So, it’s not really that much different than what could be any resident’s own private pickup truck.
Oh, this is a change. Who made this decision? The ‘super.’ Where does it say this in code? Oops … it doesn’t. I’ve followed up on this management chain and code. In truth, Alexandria’s parking code matches the generally accepted concept that a commercial vehicle is a work vehicle bearing markings to that effect – such as having a logo, a commercial license and so on.
The point being: Parking restrictions are a farce without enforcement. Leaving it up to staff to make up rules out of thin air is jaw-droppingly ineffective government.
At Alexandria’s recent parking and traffic board session, parking enforcement was noted as citizens’ most frequent request. The staffing level is abysmal. We need twice as many officers. And more funding. And better supervision. None of that is new.
It was also reported that the most parking tickets in the whole city are issued on Sanger between Beauregard and Van Dorn. This is smack dab in the area where the city is doing a major initiative for a new West End plan. Guess what, on the community survey to determine issue priorities, where does “parking” appear? Nowhere. Not. Nada. No mention.
Turning a blind eye is no answer. Fund it. And figure out how to enforce it.
-Carol James, Alexandria