I live on a street with permit parking, which means you need to get permits for any of your guests who visit you during enforcement time. Owning a car made it very easy to obtain the extra parking permits for guests. Not owning a car required me make a special trip to City Hall, Room 107. I found this out the first year we had permit parking when I called City Hall and explained that while I didn’t have a car, I had many friends who did and I would like them to be able to come over and not get an autographed invitation by the Dept of Revenue to shell out $50 for their desire to socialize.
Fortunately my Alderman, Gene Schulter, had arranged for the City Services to sell parking permits, city stickers, etc. so rather than waste a few hours going downtown, I opted for the local process. Each time I have gone there the lines were usually down to the end of the block, with a wait for those of us (including me) who would get there at opening time. Since then, the City has made it possible to purchase these by mail (THANK YOU!!!).
Today my alderman’s office was selling permits. Since July 1 is right around the corner and I will need new permits, I decided to buy mine there, and I also had planned to go to the Jewel across the street. Apparently there is a lot to be said for showing up later, as I just waltzed in (well, not literally), filled out a form, and waited for the person in front of me to get their permits. It was an amazingly short wait time!
Last year a stop sign appeared at Cullom and Lincoln. Since the installation of these stop signs, usually crossing at this intersection hasn’t been as exciting (read: risky) as say, crossing Wilson and Hamilton or Wilson and Seeley. Still, there have been plenty of times where my foot is barely off the curb as I am schlepping bags of groceries, and some driver decides that waiting for over 3 seconds is just too much of a sacrifice, and that they should encourage pedestrians on by hitting the gas pedal while we are still trying to cross the street.
So imagine my surprise when I crossed the street (and mind you, I am a fairly speedy walker) today after picking up groceries at Jewel and all the drivers at the intersection waited until I crossed to the other side. Then I realized what contributed to the amazing patience at that intersection: cops on bikes!! I yelled out to one of them, “No wonder they stopped and waited!” and got a smile as one of the officers wheeled by.
Okay, these are not the officers that rolled by, and I have to say if they were I probably would have made sure I had a longer conversation!
(Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcbeatty/237280022/)
I can’t imagine how miserable it is being on bike patrol when temps are up in the mid 90′s. Anyone who rides a bike knows how warm they get, and any officers on bikes have to wear vests. Those things are heavy. One time my sweetie stopped over once after work figuring he’d change at my place, and as soon as he came into my air conditioned lacking place, he started taking the vest off and handed it to me. It’s heavy. And so is the service belt. Imagine biking in hot weather, wearing a thick vest guaranteed to help you sweat even more and enough gear to add 25 pounds to your ride. I would think it would be impossible to gain weight in this patrol mode.