Parking tips to beat the system
Do you have any tips to avoid getting one of these yellow envelopes under your windscreen wiper? Photo: Jeffrey Chan
There's nothing like a car parking story to get Canberrans fired up. Whether it is the rising cost, the number of coins you need to meet that price, or even the number of spaces available, parking is a perennial talking point in the nation's capital.
With news that prices are on their way up again, one Canberra Times reader has sent in his tips for cutting back on parking costs - and they don't include catching the bus or carpooling.
I'm puzzled at the furore over increased parking fees ("Timing of parking fees hike 'sneaky' ", December 19, p7) given that it's so easy, with a bit of thought and risk management, to minimise one's parking payments. Here are some tips.
For starters, parking inspectors can't be everywhere, every day, so if you only pay one day in three, you will usually get away with it. You will occasionally be fined using this system but in my experience you will still come out ahead.
Monitor the weather. Parking inspectors are ACT public servants, which means that their personal comfort and convenience are likely to be primary factors governing their employment arrangements. You can therefore reasonably assume that they won't be required to be out on days that are even moderately inclement or slightly hot, and anyone who buys a parking ticket on a rainy day is simply throwing their money away.
If your workplace overlooks your car park, set up a roster with your colleagues and other building occupants to look out for and alert each other to parking inspector visits, thus allowing you to run down and stuff a few coins in the machine before they work their way to your vehicle. If you are a public servant, this system will have an added benefit in helping develop the sort of intra and inter-agency networks that, we are told, are essential for "joined up" policy and program development.
I would add that I have no qualms about recommending and practising tactics that minimise government revenue when that revenue is used for, among other things, lavishly subsidising rich rugby clubs and their antisocial players.
Christopher Oates, Stirling
Have you tried any of these methods? Do you have any other tips for minimising your parking costs? Should Canberrans even be trying to avoid paying their fair share? Leave your comments below.