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Das Boot

A boot is a funny thing. You're rambling down the street in the direction of your car, a song in your heart and your keys in your hand, and you're stopped short by the sight of a large yellow disc clamped to the outside of your wheel. If you tried to move a car with this medieval device strapped to its axle, you would only achieve a bill for a new front end topping out in the thousands.

Why would one receive this boot? Simple: unpaid parking tickets. Apparently, the City of Colorado Springs depends so greatly upon the revenue collected from your five-dollar citation that it will dispatch a boot-wielding eager beaver to take your car hostage until you pay up. Thing is, if you pay this ransom, you relinquish your right to dispute any of your tickets. This is what the City likes to call "Parking Enforcement."

Parking Enforcement is also quite funny. Certainly the meter readers should be applauded for keeping parking as disciplined as the German air force, yet their zeal often gives us the shaft. They will wait for your meter to expire, already writing out the ticket, even as you run screaming across the street. No matter what, you cannot argue with the meter readers. They are trained and accomplished hard-asses. Fighting will only get you singled out as a troublemaker -- a troublemaker on the boot list.

Parking downtown isn't easy, and it certainly isn't fair. Either play the game by their rules, or end up paying cash for your indiscretion. Perhaps one utopian day the City will be able to brainstorm and roundtable up an honest and civil solution to the parking problem, but until then a two-ton floor jack, a socket set and an 13/16" wrench will set you free.

-- Kristen Sherwood

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