I just made what I am considering a $10 donation to the city of Glens Falls, because I appreciate everything the city has done for me and my family. Really, I do, although the "donation" could also be considered, if viewed in a different way, as payment for the overnight parking ticket recently received by my cousin, who was visiting us over the weekend. 

The ticket was yet another exercise in the enforcement of an unnecessary ordinance that could fairly be called a money grab or, more charitably, an absurd waste of police time. My cousin's case was instructive. We live a good half-mile, at least, out of downtown, and during the afternoon, when he first parked in front of my house, no one else was parked on the street anywhere nearby. At 4 a.m., when the ticket was written, I can guarantee there weren't any cars around — not only no parked cars, but no cars on the road, period. 

The city has never come up with a rational explanation for the overnight parking ban, despite complaints from various quarters and my occasional bleatings. When it snows, plows have to do their work, blah blah. Of course. And lots of cities handle that with aplomb, either by banning overnight parking in the winter months, or going to opposite-side parking or sending out alerts before storms. 

Glens Falls does have an on-street parking problem (as I have mentioned once or a million times before) — during the day. The narrow streets cannot accommodate cars parked on both sides, plus two-way traffic, although you run into that exact situation all over the city. No one has seen fit to address this real and present danger, preferring to enforce a ban on cars parking between 2 and 6 a.m., when the streets are essentially empty. 

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The other thing I've discovered because of my unhealthy obsession with this subject is that the parking laws in Glens Falls are being broken all the time, because they limit parking citywide to two-hour stretches. No one follows that law, but no one enforces it, either.

Ah, well. You would think I'd learn. You can't fight City Hall, and you've got to pay your tickets, no matter how absurd the law is, unless you're Henry David Thoreau or Bob Schulz, and I'm neither.


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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at



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