When it comes to a popularity contest, parking tickets rank somewhere between multiple hornet stings and dropping your phone in the toilet. This is all the more true when, decent citizen that you are, you have tried your very best to obey the laws governing the parking of the street along which you have left your car only to later realize that you misread (or simply missed) some technicality that left your poor vehicle ripe for that predatory meter maid to pounce on and ticket.
But it happens all the time! You think you have parked legally only to find a fat, juicy parking ticket under your wiper blade or stuffed into the crack of the door. Why did this happen? Because the signs you had to read to determine whether or not you were allowed to park at a given time are more difficult to comprehend than the quadratic equation.
Finally a concerned vigilante, Nikki Sylianteng, is fighting back against the madness of parking sign confusion by creating a simpler, better sign. And indeed simple is the operative word: rather than posting ten different signs using text to allow parking during these hours but prohibit it during this period and to allow permitted parking overnight but prohibit all vehicles on Tuesdays at 11:13 and to allow commercial vehicles but prohibit vehicles that have been in TV commercials and on and on… the brilliance behind ToParkOrNotToPark.com is the use of simple graphics to show when you can and can’t park.
The customized parking signs Nikki and her team produces feature solid, easy-to-understand vertical bars made up of the colors green and red. Each bar demarcates a day or group of days indicated at the top (Monday – Friday, for example) with the hours during which you can and can’t park listed from bottom to top. If the color next to a block of hours is green, you can park. If it’s red, you can’t. Simple as that. The team is still in the early phase of their righteous project, so details like Permit Parking and other limited restrictions/permissions are still being worked out, but for now, we’ll take their simple pictorial Yes or No over essays of inscrutable restrictions any day.
And the best part of this story? The democratization: you can contact the team from ToParkOrNotToPark.com and send them your pictures of the maddening parking signs in your area. They will create one of their simple signs and send it back to you, complete with all the hardware you need to mount it… but without the legal authority to do so, of course.
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