Royal Oak Parking Gestapo

pluto665 via flickr

Royal Oak’s finest? Credit: pluto665 via flickr

What do you hate the most about Royal Oak?

Don’t get me wrong.  We at UrbaneBlog love this little city.  We love the food, the shopping, nearby cultural events in Fabulous Ferndale, local museums, quirky gyms (see here and here), the opportunity to meet other engaged citizens, and our local characters (see here and here).  We even love the small-town DRAMA!

But ask your friends who live, work, shop, drink, dine, or visit you what they hate about Royal Oak.  I’d be willing to bet that one of the first things they mention is the parking situation.  But it doesn’t take a polling firm or a consultant to tell you that the parking situation in Royal Oak sucks.  A few more thoughts, as well as what UrbaneBlog hopes to DO about it, after the jump. 

First, we get that it’s probably unreasonable to have a parking free-for-all where somebody can their jalopy in front of Pronto! and abandon it.  But, have you ever lived in a city with a more aggressive parking patrol?  (By the way, the City of Royal Oak is still apparently hiring enforcement officers.  The gig pays $14 an hour, apply here.)  If your meter is over by even 5 minutes here, there’s a very high chance that one of the city’s plentiful and aggressive meter maids will nail you with a ticket.  And don’t try to challenge it — part of the job description of the meter maids includes testifying in court against people challenging their fines.

What does this do for Royal Oak?  What does it do for its businesses and its citizens?  Does it make it a place that you want to visit?  Does it make you relax and think about visiting a few shops after having lunch downtown, or are you more worried about getting some quarters from your server as you look at your watch, wondering whether you’ll be able to finish before you’re in the RED.

We havent seen rates like these in Royal Oak in many years . . .

We haven’t seen rates like these in Royal Oak in many years . . .

So, what can we DO about this?  What kind of policies and prices are reasonable? For example, do we really need to feed meters until 10:00 pm?  On Saturdays?  Please submit your suggestions and thoughts in the comments below.  And watch this space over the next several months as we try to take some action on this issue — by attending Royal Oak City Commission Meetings, calling and emailing local officials, and trying to persuade Royal Oak to consider some creative solutions, such as Ferndale’s free holiday parking.

This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan

  • http://www.laferle.com Cindy L.

    Amen to that. I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I love this city with all my heart. But I totally and completely despise the parking situation. I was eating lunch at Pronto yesterday with a fellow journalist, and half the time both of us were looking at our watches, nervous about the parking meters….

    Nice blog you have here — and good to see Royal Oak front and center!

  • Frank P

    Amen! Awesome post! What the hell are the “leaders” of Royal Oak thinking. They’re likely thinking that parking enforcement provides the city some much-needed short term revenue. This is a stupid way to get spare change, though. More energy should be spent on making a visit to Royal Oak a positive experience. And making your residents happy about living here.

  • Brandon

    Thanks Cindy and Frank for the comments. I think this is a HUGE issue facing Royal Oak — and one that could be improved quickly and easily. I hope that the local government has their eyes and ears open. The current situation is doing no favors for Royal Oak businesses, visitors, and residents.

  • http://www.m-bike.org Todd Scott

    I couldn’t disagree more. Public and private vehicle parking is already heavily subsidized by Royal Oak taxpayers and consumers. It sounds like you’re calling for more car welfare. Like it or not, space in downtowns cost money. If you are unwilling to pay your fair share for a large enough piece then try carpooling, walking, biking, or public transit.

  • http://www.apartmentveteran.com/ Eric Brown

    Brandon,
    Thank you for doing this post. I agree with you that the main focus and intent of this blog is to highlight the positive of Royal Oak and the surrounding area businesses, cool and hip people, arts and culture. But,………, I also see this space as a collective group effort to make positive change to overall better our community.

    The parking police simply must cease. It is the most anti-marketing scheme that the City of Royal Oak could possibly do, It pains me greatly to look out the window of our offices on Sixth Street and see ticket after ticket after ticket being issued to people that have parked there to SPEND MONEY with our merchants. It makes no sense. It absolutely cannot generate enough net income after expenses to EVER justify the negative experience we give folks.

    Parking in the Central Business of the City of Royal Oak should be at no charge

  • Brandon

    Thanks Todd and Eric for your comments —

    I live in downtown because I like to be able to walk to everything. Sometimes it’s not practical and Michigan is pretty spread out, so I do think that the car is going to be part of our lifestyle here. I understand that it costs money to park. That’s not really the point, though, of my post. I am of the opinion that we want people to shop/ dine/ drink locally — we want this little downtown to thrive. And an over-aggressive parking patrol does not advance that goal. That doesn’t mean that I don’t support your worthy efforts of making this city more bike and pedestrian friendly.

    Eric, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have friends who don’t like to come visit me here because of bad experiences with parking tickets. One co-worker was 5 — FIVE — minutes late to the meter on a Friday night at 9:30 pm and got a ticket on her first visit to Royal Oak. “They don’t do this in Detroit,” was her comment. Ouch. Not a great first impression for her — or your prospective residents, I imagine.

    Thanks, both of you, for your thoughts.

  • Frank P

    I’m with Cindy, Eric & Brandon on this one- parking enforcement here has gone too far!!

  • http://www.m-bike.org Todd Scott

    I’m not saying cars should or should not be part of anyones lifestyle. That’s your choice. I’m just saying we (taxpayers and consumers) are already subsidizing your parking — and you want more. Below market-cost parking helps harms cities and does not make them thrive. http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/

  • http://www.apartmentveteran.com/ Eric Brown

    Todd, Hi, and thanks for weighing in. I may not be articulating the point of my comment. the City is creating a negative experience for the folks that have come here to spend their money. I get the other argument that they should park in the garages, and Royal Oak has some great parking garages, but folks aren’t always parking there.

    I am not whining about putting quarters in the meters. I am saying, if the City had to run their City like a business, they would NOT create a negative experience for their customers, which is currently what they are doing

  • Frank P

    Eric- I think you’re very clear. Seems like Todd’s issue is the environment. There must be a way to have an environmentally friendly city that is also consumer friendly. This “subsidy” stuff seems a bit over the top. You’re not going to win converts by being militant about an issue. Bottom line – anyone who knows anything about Royal Oak knows that the parking enforcemt here is nutz. It seems like the city commission is doing whatever they can to ruin this little downtown oasis. What positive things have city officials done lately? I can’t think of one.

  • http://www.apartmentveteran.com/ Eric Brown

    Frank,
    I think your last comment is Spot On, and I wish that someone at the City were listening.

    Your comment also made me think more deeply about Todds comments. Imagine this, and the positive viral marketing that Royal Oak would get if they abandoned all parking in the Central Business District and installed Bike and Walk Paths in those parking lanes, flowers, planters and benches. They could play up the whole green concept and walk ability, cut extensive labor costs as meter maids are no longer needed and drive more revenue to the parking garage. Frankly, they could likely raise the cost of parking in the garages, this isn’t about the cost of parking.

    It would be bold, and progressive, but would maybe just set this little gem of a city off as being different and truly become a destination place and boost local commerce beyond our imagination

  • Brandon

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I agree it’s not really about the cost — it’s about the negative experiences that people have here. I have a monthly pass in one of the lots and walk 95% of the time. But I care about this town and the aggressiveness of the patrols are over the top.

    I like Eric’s idea — could be very bold and progressive, though I’m not sure the funding/ imagination is there now. Hopefully it’ll get there soon.

  • Babs

    Thanks for this post. I don’t have much to add to the previous comments, but I do think that you’ve hit the nail on the head — the hyper parking enforcement unit in Royal Oak is way too effective/ efficient.

  • Brandon

    Thanks for stopping bye, Babs! And thanks for your comment. This post seemed to hit a nerve. Royal Oak, are you listening?

  • http://30lines.com Mike Whaling

    Brandon, I only wish all agencies at all levels of government were as efficient as the Royal Oak meter watchers.

    As a visitor from out of town last weekend, I parked on a side street for what couldn’t have been more than 40 minutes. Of course, I got nailed with a ticket. I could only shake my head and laugh, but I can’t say that my last impression of Royal Oak as I left for DTW was a good one.

    Thanks for reminding me … I need to go pay my ticket.

  • concerned local worker and resident…

    You know i am not looking for any handouts but what concerns me are the owners and the entitlements to the private parking access in the areas of some bussiness (more specificaly the spots between forth and fifth in the alley running along the traintracks) and the enept ability to share/or offer leasing for these spots to independant bussinesses and the authority they hold for towing tresspassers. Recently i was parked adjacent at a public parking space next to a private parking area. An i tow company from troy, that is not affiliated with the royal oak police was comissioned to tow all cars in the private area. Not knowing the city they towed my car as well as two others from this public parking space that i had paid for. Leaving me stranded in below freezing weather. The only consolidation i could get that night from the tow company was them affirming of my dillusions of imaginary parking meters that i would have no need to fill after 6pm? and that i can pick my car up at nine am for $255. Lawful action through the royal oak police was not an option because they were not affiliated with this company and post civil actions were to be the only option of reperations advised. Efforts to locate the owner of the parking spaces led me to one character who made a “phone call” and had my expenses dropped to $25, he wouldn’t accept responsibility for my plight or identify himself but insisted this was all he could do. At the impound lot in troy i hesitantly gave my $25 dollars without complaint knowing this was my only option to get my car back without having the price jacked back up to $255 which i couldn’t afford. My main question is who are these owners, and why are these actions of theft, intimidation, & extortion beyond criminal punishment… How can u earn the right to steal legally parked cars, and get paid for it?

    Im trying to get a feel for my rights and any information on this topic would be very appreciated…

    another story related to royal oak parking follows…

    I was employed as pizza delivery driver in downtown area for five years. Due to the monopoly on the private parking areas located near my establishment i was forced to use public meter spots for loading and unloading deliveries. In my experience the meter attendants recognized my car as being an employee and kept a close watch to make sure I was penalized as soon as my meter expired. Their was several experiences where my time exceeded by as little as a minute and I would walk out seeing a ticket on my car and cars before and after mine with expirations that have been ticketed yet, and all the while local meter attendant acting like I was hoarding the cities parking spaces. Keep in mind I would be going outside to put more money in the meter at many of these occasions before they would even print the ticket and they would just look at me like there was nothing they could do and there duty to serve justice upon my deviant actions. I lost over a years salary of expense on parking tickets over the duration of my time with the company. All the while there was ample empty private parking spaces available right behind my bussiness located in the same area as my earlier noted encounter. It was well known that any parking there would ultimately lead to towing if a chance encounter of the owners would be present. Just frustrating…

    Parking must be big bussiness for the city of royal oak but this also is definately a deterant for me ever being employed downtown again. The majority of independant bussinesses downtown do not have accesable parking for their employees, can’t afford to pay for parking for their employess, and now with the new meters in the farmers market, free spots are rare to find.

    I think this is also something we should think about as well… any help or suggestions would help… thanks for reading my roughly prepared comment…

  • citizen of Royal Oak

    I would like to share a little insight. The reason the Parking Enforcement Officers are so “efficient” is because of the higher ups in the police department and ultimately the city council. I bet none of you know that the ticket quota for a Royal Oak meter maid is 11 tickets per hour. And if they do not meet this goal they are reprimanded monthly and threatened with termination. I know one of the Parking Officers and he/she would like to be more lenient but faced with losing his/her job in this economy there is no choice but to ticket anybody and everybody. If you want a change it needs to be done at the City Council meetings.

  • Brandon

    Wow, that is really damning information, Citizen. I would like to ask that question at the next City Council meeting. If true, it’s really shameful that the City is out to “get” its own citizens and visitors in this way. And very, very short-sighted. Sure you might get some revenue from the ticket, but the frustration that results will make people think twice before lingering in a local shop a little longer. Laws need to be enforced and people need to do their jobs, but the way the law is enforced is also important. And getting a ticket for being 5 minutes late on the meter strikes me as very petty.

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  • Kurt

    This is a monopoly on the parking in Royal Oak, Michigan

  • Jason

    I used to go to Royal Oak between 3 and 4 times per week. I used to go to school out that way, I would study at the Bean and Leaf(Best coffee house that I have ever been too BTW), eat and shop in general. Now he meters are EVERYWHERE! What is Royal Oak thinking?!?!?! I haven’t visited there in about a year. I have friends that don’t go there anymore for that reason. I hope the citizens let the city know that they have lost many customers.

  • Mike

    I’m sure glad I’m not the only one that has been scammed by the Royal Oak parking Gestapo. I think you have some of the best restaurants in the area and the shops are outstanding. I use to bring our out of town gusts to R.O. to have a good time until after spending an entire day shopping and eating and continually feeding the meter we ran late and surprise a ticket. Well I paid it and sent a few letters to the idiots on the city council and your mayor oh that was a laugh I explained I don’t mind paying for parking but I do get PO when you pay and then get a parking ticket as well that’s BS. I have not gone back and in fact had the same guests return for a visit and ask to go back to your city and I refused so I know your city officials don’t care but the fine businesses should because they are ones loosing out.

  • http://urbaneapts.com Eric Brown

    Mike, Good Morning, and thanks for stopping by
    Your comment is just the point of all of this. handing out tickets is entirely the wrong marketing message for the City. There are other ways and means to replace the revenue, which, absent the labor to collect the coins, and write the tickets may not be all that much.

    I encourage you to come back to Royal Oak, it is a fun place,

  • Ed

    The city makes a ton off meters and tickets. Well over a million a year off tickets alone. Meter maids may make $14hr but are part-time employees. They get no medical benefits, vacation time, sick pay or retirement. They are limited to 1,200 hrs a year which is about $18,000 a yr. There are 10 meter maids, that is a cost of $180,000yr. So there is little overhead. Then there’s the meters. There’s 3 full-time city employees that collect the coins and repair meters. They make more than $14hr, get medical, retirement and vacation. The meter maids are just doing their job. Once your meter expires how are they supposed to know if it’s been 5min, 30min, 2hrs or if you even paid it? If you don’t want a ticket park in a garage, they’re free for the first 2hrs and 50 cents an hr after that if you get in before 5pm after that it’s $3. You can buy parking passes at city hall for most lots.

  • Dick

    The city wants to charge on Sundays and until midnight instead of 10pm. Don’t blame the meter maids. Blame the city council. If it weren’t for the meters and the tickets, the homeowners taxes would be higher. Remember and extra quarter may save you $8.

  • AL

    If you ever have been stopped by a police officer for speeding or any other traffic violation,could you imagine calling him a S.O.B. and then expect a break?one night I witnessed a guy calling a parking officer every filthy name in the book and then ask for a break! The parking Officers have a job to do.What would happen at your job if you didn’t do it?When you put money in a meter it won’t last forever,and how does the officer know how long your meter has been expired ?There are 4 parking garages in Royal Oak,but everyone wants a parking spot right out in front of where they are going to.Hey people it won’t kill you to walk 500 feet!

  • Bobby

    I know most of the parking officers in royal because I have own a business here.They are all very nice ,hard working employees doing a job most people wouldn’t want to do,rude drunk people,cold Michigan weather and a lot of verbal abuse.How would you like to go to work everyday and have people cuss you out or call you names because you charged them for gas,a haircut,a hamburger,a cup of coffee!Remember they also have a job to do.

  • Rocky

    I am not crazy about the parking situation in Royal Oak either,so one night about a year ago I decided to use one of the Valet services at Center and 4th street,run by a guy name Tom Clark,so I let him park my BMW one night.After eating out and having a few cocktails,I go to get my car from him,he pulls into the valet line and backs up,into the curb and scrapes my chrome wheels,I was like where and the hell did you learn to drive!He gets out of my car and I said you just scraped my rims on the curb,he said those were already scraped.I said I SAW you do it! He kept on saying that they were like that.I told him,I am calling the police.He finally gave me his insurance info to make a claim.trust me ,take your chances on a parking ticket!

  • Gustav

    Gustav think Americans cry like baby. In home country, if 1 minute late police tow car. If yell at police, go to jail for 2yrs. Gustav say pay meter be happy.

  • Tonia

    I also used that valet service at 5th and main st one night what a mistake, my nice car came back with a big scratch from that jerk Tom Clark! Never ever use him,he is not trust worthy.

  • denykrane

    RO believes this won’t happen to them…the downtown area in which I have worked for 30 years has virtually no retails businesses left. Due to parking meters requiring people to pay to shop purchasers went somewhere else. The meters are all gone now but it is too late. The only businesses left in town are government offices and lawers representing all the scum at the courthouse.

  • Vic

    A buddy of mine used to live in the Urbane Apts at 6th & Washington. When he moved in he got a monthly permit from Urbane to park in the 6th & Laffayette garage. Without out notice they decided not to renew the permit and when my buddy went to leave the garage he had to pay. The parking problem is more than just the meter maids and careless valets.

  • BJ

    You need a new picture, that truck died. They got a new vehicle with all the ticket revenue!

  • AL

    This comment is for denykrane,you must live in detroit or benton harbor because those are two cities are dead with no stores or decent people!Go to Royal Oak and see how busy it really is ,people circle around looking for parking and to be able to walk around in a safe city!

  • Bambi

    I think Royal Oak has some sexy meter people. Do they have a swimsuit calendar? I’d buy one for sure. I really like when it’s hot out and they all where their shorts!

  • Candi

    I think the 3 bald guys are HOT!! They can give me a ticket any time! I’m from Ferndale and their meter maids don’t look like that! I may have to move.

  • Jim E

    I think the city should put meters in front of every business and every home in the entire city. If residents don’t want to keep a ton of change around, the city could sell yearly permits for $500.oo per year. This way there would be no need for police layoffs.

  • Terry

    I think the there should be meter enforcement 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The city would make a ton and we’d have plenty of police officers, fire fighters, librarians, dog catchers, garbage men, meter maids,etc. All city employees could get a 25% pay raise.

  • Donny

    Royal Oak should raise the parking fines from $8 to $20.

  • sam

    People,please quit whining about parking tickets in Royal Oak,have you ever seen how people litter the streets and parking lots?The city has to pay someone to cleanup after the smokers and low life people who litter.

  • Hanz

    Quit whinning! You’re all girlie men! Just put money in the meter and no ticket!

  • Franz

    Put lots of quarters in the meter, pump it up!

  • Mickey

    Hey Rock, how’s Adrian? When’s the re-match with Clubber Lang? I think the meter maid’s are worse in Philly. Maybe you should get in the ring with that bumb Tom Clark!

  • Marv

    Don;t ever use the valet service at 5th and main or 4th and center st.,they are the most dishonest and lying guy’s and will damage your vehicle and then say it was like that.Trust me,I know from first hand experience!

  • Albert

    YESSSS!!!

  • Larry

    I was in another city the other day and I saw a Royal Oak Meter Maid issuing tickets. Are they allowed to do that? Don’t they know where the city limits are?

  • The Ticket Master

    You people have no concept of time. I saw a guy throw his food down on his plate, jump out of his chair and run to the meter. When I walked by he had 1hr 20 min left. This goes both ways, you may think you have more time than you do. Remember it”s your responibility to pay the meter. The meter maid is just doing they’re job. If you don’t want to pay a meter go to Clawson or Berkley.

  • Richard Cranium

    I got a ticket for backing in, What the hell is that?

  • captain

    To Richard Cranium,its a ticket for backing in,can’t you read? All parking lots have signs that say DO NOT BACK IN.The reason is because people back in and bend the meters with their big trucks and cars.

  • Richard Cranium

    Hey Captain, how’s Tenile?

  • Dan

    I hear that “Parking Wars” is going to start filming in Royal Oak. Sometime before Dream Cruise and Arts, Beats & Eats. Pay your meter unless you want to be on TV.

  • The Boss

    There’s an opening for a meter maid, anyone need a job?

  • Jaboni

    you better write 11 tickets per hour or your ass will be called into the lieutenants office and ask why you didn’t make that quota and improve your performance!trust me they will show you the door.

  • Geoffrey F.

    The Meter Maids are out of control. They write too many questionable tickets. If you have a ticket you deserve call a lawyer. We’ll talk to Judge Wapner!

  • The Man

    I am one of the Parking Enforcement Officers,in the 10 years I have worked in Royal Oak ,I have never issued a ticket to a person,who didn’t deserve it.I take pride in my job and don’t issue tickets to people who follow the parking rules,period!

  • Meter Man

    I too am a RO Parking Enforcement Officer. If you don’t deserve a ticket we don’t issue one. I do not hide in the bushes or behind other cars waiting for your meter to expire. I walk 8-10 miles per shift past every meter looking for expired meters. There is not a timer on the meters to let me know how long it’s been expired. I don’t know if it’s been 30seconds, 5min, 45min, 2hrs or if you never paid it. If you don’t want a ticket then put enough money in the meters. If 2-3hrs is not enough time then park in a parking garage. The Center Street garage and 6th & Lafayette garage are free for the 1st 2 hrs before and 50 cents an hour after that. After 5pm it’s $5 per car at Center St. and $3per car at 6th & Lafayette. There is also valet parking at several locations throughout downtown RO, most are $5 per car.

  • PO’d

    Not all meter maids are like The Man & Meter Man. The old, fat, bald guy writes tickets whether you deserve it or not. Recenlty my band was unloading our equipment in an alley and both cars got tickets. Where the hell are we supposed to unload at? Does he think we’re going to carry all that crap for a few blocks? He claims it’ s not his job to find us a spot. That’s true but it’s his job to use his brain and allow people to load/unload, that’s why there are alleys. It was obvious we were unloading and not parked, the tailgates were up and

  • Meter Man

    There are plenty of people who DO deserve tickets. Like the people who change the dates on expired handicap permits or use a dead relatives permit to park closer to where they are going. You guys are lucky us meter maids catch you and not an actual police officer. That is a real crime with a punishment of a fine and jail time. I get thanked by people who actually have the right to park in handicap space all the time.

    I also get thanked for issuing tickets in residential permit zones. These zones are voted on by the residents of that street who are tired of not being able to park in front of their own house because of bar/restaraunt patrons, concert goers, etc. These zones are not created by the city as a way to make money.

    Not every one hates meter maids.

  • I’m watching

    I wish the meter maids would do something about the postal workers parking in the handicap spaces in the post office lot and the lot by Leo’s coney. They do have permits but how handicap can they be if they’re out delivering mail & walking 10+ miles per day? They are taking spaces away from people who need and deserve them. How do I contact the postmaster? Can the meter maids do something? They only park there because they are too cheap to pay the meters or pay to park in the garages.

  • meter guy

    This is for PO’d. how the hell would we know you are unloading if your tailgate is up?Why don’t you burned out brain dead ,wanna be Mick Jagger’s have someone stand out there while your unloading,so you don’t get a ticket! Every vehicle parked in the alley isn’t unloading,its not my job to figure out what everyone is doing and I am also not going to wait around for you to roll a joint and tell me how to do my job!

  • PO’d

    The tailgate was up as in open! And there was a S-load of equipment in there. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that maybe we’re unloading. Most people don’t leave cars open with expensive stuff in the back and the flashers on. If you weren’t in such a hurry to ticket every car in town maybe you could come back in 10-15min and see that we were gone.

  • sweet susan

    Hey all, i dont visit royal oak much, but i do visit Dearborn alot.
    they have a metered parking system also, i have gotten a few tickets in Dearborn for running over my time period.
    the old guys with white hair are rude and act as if they have just nailed you for drunk driving or something.
    but the younger parking officers are very nice and understanding.
    Exspecially the one with nice hair and a mustashe. hes not only very nice, and willing to give people the benefit of doubt, but hes also HOT !
    he is married though wich sucks ! :(

  • Meter Man

    I’m HOT! And SINGLE! But I don’t go to Dearborn often

  • Meter Man

    This is for PO’d band man.I can tell you didn’t graduate from school,because all the signs in the alley say,NO PARKING.It doesn’t say bands are exempt,nor does it say,just put your flashers on and park anywhere you want for as long as you want,numb nuts!With summer upon us and all the bars that want live music,I will be looking for some old hippies,with their flashers on!Have a good one.

  • PO’d

    Then you can help carry all our equipment from a lot or structure. Why do you have to be so agressive? Wait 10-15min, go harrass someone else then come back and see if we’re still there. Don’t be such an a$$hole!
    Why don’t you ticket the beer delivery trucks, UPS man, food delivery trucks etc? I see them unloading in the alley all the time. How are they any different? Are the owners of those businesses paying you off? Since I’ll get a ticket anyway I’ll just park in front of the bar on Main St. It’s closer that going in the back way.

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  • Amber

    You needed to new pic. That one is old and out of date, just like your apartments.

  • The man

    I’am one of the Parking enforcement Officers for Royal Oak.I have never given out a ticket to anyone who didn’t deserve the ticket.For all you people out there,do you think it is ok to park in a handicap space to pick up a carry out order? Well I don’t and if you park there don’t yell at me because your parents didn’t bring you up right to think some little old lady or man who is handicap doesn’t need that spot,while you pickup carryout!Have you ever seen how much people litter and walk their dogs and let them crap all over the place?Who do you think has to pay to have that all cleaned up?The city of Royal Oak!If you come to Royal Oak and park,it is real simple,put a few quarters in the meter and remember it won’t last forever,better yet ,park in the garage and walk a little bit ,a little walk won’t kill you unless you walk in DETROIT!

  • The Other Man

    If we’re in the process of writing your car a ticket when you return, don’t yell at us. If you ask and we haven’t printed it yet we may take it back. If you come up yelling at me or just get in your car you’ll get a ticket every time. Remember we have a job to do it’s nothing personal. Also, we have no idea how long your meter has been expiered. There is no timer to tell me how long it’s been expired. I have no idea if it’s been 2 seconds, 2 minutes, 20min, 2 hrs or if you never put anything in at all. I also have no way to know that you went for change. If you did, don’t cuss me out because you’re getting a ticket. Tell me you went for change, show me the change and I’ll probably let you go. If you’re cool to us we can be cool to you. Have a nice day.

  • http://www.shaunanicholson.com Shauna Nicholson

    The man Says: “a little walk won’t kill you unless you walk in DETROIT!”

    Are you kidding me? The taxpayers of Royal Oak employ people with this kind of mentality?

    Sure, represent the great parking needs, but leave the Detroit-hate at home.

  • Afraid of the D

    Besides the possibility of losing your life, their parking tickets are more than twice as much as Royal Oak. I’m staying this side of 8mile. The only good thing south of 8mile is Florida!

  • Roger Duffy

    I think the biggest travesty in Royal Oak is how parking is enforced differently depending on who you know. There is an “operation” across the street from Black Finn that charges you to park there – right off of Main St. – that is simply corrupt. Officially, you need a permit to have what’s called a “parking station” but I have parked there before and the guy bragged about how he doesn’t need a permit because he has “friends in high places.” He thought it was really funny how they have essentially an abandoned building – it used to be an auto parts store – and now they are making all this money off parking without any permit or insurance. The owner of the lot and his kid park their own cars on the street and NEVER have to feed the meter at all because according to the guy, “the cops are my buddies and they cover me.” I told him I was going to turn him in for having a parking station without a permit. He just laughed and said that he was untouchable because his cop friends will just bury any complaint! This is just another example of how corrupt Royal Oak has become!

  • Beth Holtz

    That parking set up across from Black Finn is a total sham. I parked there once and the guy was rude and I find it totally believeable that he doesn’t have the required permit. You could smell the alcohol on the guy and see the empty beer cans around where he hangs out inside. I think the next time I’m down there I’m going to park there and then ask to see his permit. He doesn’t have one, of course and then I’m going to call the cops on him. If the cops really do cover for him, I’ll go to one of those “Shame on You” media operations to show the corruption.

  • doug

    No permit is need unless it’ s a valet service. If the customer parks their own car, no permit is required. Jim Rasor, a Royal Oak City Commisioner, does the same thing at his lot at 4th & Williams.

  • Meter Man

    I don’t care who it is, if the meter is expired they get a ticket. At some point the cops will get tired of fixing the tickets. There is a paper trail and it’ll catch up to him eventually.
    They are other business owners around downtown who thought they were too important to pay the meters. Well after getting numerous tickets from me I see their meters are now paid on a regular basis!
    I will ticket my own mother if her meter is expired!

  • Roger Duffy

    I wanted to correct some misinformation posted by “Doug.” Acutally, a permit IS required for these self parking operations just as it is for a valet service in Royal Oak. The permit is required due to ordinance 503 (parking stations). City Commissioner Jim Rasor, whom you mentioned, actually HAS a permit for his self parking operation. The set up right across the street from Black Finn does NOT have a permit and is thus operating illegally.

  • Doug

    My bad. Sorry Jim & Rog

  • The man

    This is for the naive Shauna :My mentality is the truth,that is what bothers most people when you talk about that world class city.I can just tell that you where raise in the suburbs and know nothing about Detroit.You hear on the news how the city is world class,are you kidding me!Have you ever been to New York,Chicago or Maybe San Fransisco?Detroit is the only city in the world,not just the United States,the world that burns itself down in the last few days of October!So Shauna keep living in a city where there is not 1 major grocery or department store,filth everywhere,criminals that laugh at law enforcement . You come to Royal Oak to walk around and go to the restaurants and bars because you know you don’t feel safe in that sewer.So get your head out of your ass and step into reality! Have a good one.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Man, tell us how you really feel!

  • The Ticketmaster

    This is to all the contractors doing work in downtown Royal Oak: why do you think you don’t have to pay the meters? Everyone else that works downtown does or buys a pass or parks in a garage. The excuse that your only here a few days doesn’t make any sense. The excuse that you are working and can’t come out to feed the meter doesn’t work either. If you can come out every 2-3hrs for a smoke then you can also put money in the meter. If the waitreses, bartenders, hairdresser & nailtechs making $2.65hr can pay the meters then some contractor making $20-$30+hr can pay too. And how is it that we are picking on you when we warn you a time or two before we actually write you a ticket? We don’t have to do that. I don’t go into Mr. B’s or Blackfinn and warn anybody. You sound like a bunch of over paid babies to me!

  • BRANDON

    Wow — amazing to see that this post is still attracting so much heat and attention. Royal Oak — is this really your brand? Is this what you want to be known for? Hassle and parking tickets? The short-term ticket revenue you get from over-aggressive patrolling is surely outweighed by the long-term dip in visitors who are sick of being targeted. Come on!

  • Beth Holtz

    Back to these illegal “self-parking” operations in Royal Oak – The biggest joke is that the one I used across from Black Finn on Main st. is a LOT more than self-parking. The guy there was parking cars in his garage and kept the keys to my car so he could move it around. Folks, to those of us with a brain that’s called valet! All without a permit or insurance for anything just because these guys “know people.” Now just how do regular business owners get a break like that? This is just another example of the “good ol’ boys” network.

  • Ticketmaster

    Brandon, I don’t see how we’re being over agressive. If the meter is flashing “expired” I write a ticket. Otherwise I keep walking. It’s not my fault people get tickets, I’m not the one that doesn’t put enough or any change in the meter. If you work or live downtown buy a pass/permit to park in a lot or structure. If you’re coming down for more than the meter limit park in a structure. I do not wait for meters to expire, I can get more tickets if I keep moving. I do not hide in the bushes or around corners. The people who come downtown are the ones who can prevent thickets. Simply pay your meter. We have no idea how long your meter has been expired, once it is expired there is no timer to tell us that. If you come back while I am writing a ticket and you don’t yell at me, I’ll take it back. If you went for change and show me that you actually have the change, I’ll let you go. The main reason people think we’re rude is because they’re rude to us first. It’s hard to be nice when your getting yelled at all the time. Feed your meter and no ticket. Plenty of cities having meters and meter enforcement officers. You guys act like you never seen a parking meter before. Royal Oak has been a popular spot for 20+ yrs and has had meter enforcement for over 20yrs. We are not hurting the city. The lots are full every Thurs, Fri & Sat night. The good businesses succed the ones that fail are ran poorly or are not appealing to the public.

  • AL

    I live in Royal Oak,I party and eat downtown also.If everyone would do 1 easy thing and throw some change in the meters or park at a garage,it is so simple ,you wouldn’t get a parking ticket!The city has to clean up after inconsiderate people litter the streets and parking lots.Please don’t litter our beautiful city,state,or country.Peace and Love to all.

  • Maurice

    Al, I love you man!

  • http://www.tonypivetta.blogspot.com/ Tony Pivetta

    The State–every State–is corrupt. That’s the reality. Why should the municipality of Royal Oak be exempt from reality? The only legitimate ordinance is *caveat emptor.* The wonder is not that a municipality enforces an ordinance selectively; when political entities wield political power, economic entities will invest resources in political pull. Hence selective enforcement. Hence disrespect for the moral law. Hence centralized chaos parading as societal order. No, the wonder is that otherwise intelligent human beings still cling to the State as the *sine qua non* to an orderly society. What a racket!

  • http://www.tonypivetta.blogspot.com/ Tony Pivetta

    Back in May 2003, while driving home from work, I took the Bermuda-Mohawk exit off the eastbound I-696 service drive. I had been taking this exact route home for years. Just two or three weeks earlier, unfortunately, as a reduction-in-traffic measure, the City had erected a sign on Mohawk changing it to a one-way southbound street weekdays between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. By force of habit, I took it northbound anyway. Sure enough, one of Royal Oak’s finest was waiting for me. I pleaded with him to let me off with a warning; needless to say, my pleas fell on deaf ears. So I burned a vacation day a few weeks later to have my day in court. Surely the judge would look at my impeccable driving record and my twelve years of continuous residence in the neighborhood. Surely he would recognize I had had a momentary mental lapse. Surely he would throw the ticket out. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Out of the goodness of his heart, he knocked the charges down to impeding traffic. I got to pay a “modest” $150 fine to keep the points off my driving record. This is the City’s idea of clemency! Good thing the cops and judges are civil servants who work for me. I shudder to think what happens to me if our positions are reversed.

    • 2lagit

      Since traditional meters notoriously get robbed by the very people that service them they have to figure out a way to buy new ATM meters. The way they do this is with the money you and I have in our bank accounts and the only way for them to get to that money is through fines, tickets and regulating our lives into a nice small box. Leanancy and common sense aren’t allowed in a nice small box.

  • The man

    Why is it that when person receives a ticket for either a moving violation or a parking ticket,it is always the fault of the officer?People,I have to ask one simple question.WHAT PART DO YOU PLAY HERE?

  • Roger Duffy

    I think “the man” is missing Tony’s point. What he is pointing out is the inconsistent enforcement in municipalities like Royal Oak. I know of many residents and business owners, for example, that have been simply hounded by the City of Royal Oak for various permit issues. In fact, code enforcement officers troll the neighborhoods on Saturday’s, looking for residents that they can charge a fine and penalty for not acquiring the proper permit for home improvement. Yet, we have a completely illegal parking set up operating with impunity right on Main St. No permit for self-parking AND on top of that, they park cars and keep the keys which actually requires a valet permit. How are they allowed to continue? Because they are “buddies” with the cops who turn a blind eye to their permit viloations. What about the rest of us? Tony received his ticket because he doesn’t have the same protection as the guys who run the illegal lot on 511 Main ST. Now THAT, is corruption!

  • http://www.tonypivetta.blogspot.com/ Tony Pivetta

    Roger Duffy understands. The State consists of of mere mortals who don’t stop acting out of self-interest despite the presumption they act in the public interest. Confounding matters, the intersection of self-interest and the State’s territorial monopoly of force poses a potent and far-reaching danger to all those peacefully pursuing their own self-interest. This is just classic special-interest political analysis.

    Conspiracy theory is just a subset of that special-interest analysis. It goes farther with the premise, positing an intersection that spurs webs of elites to criminal–even diabolical–cooperation. But we can leave that to one side for now.

    I have seen the lot on South Main Street of which Roger speaks. If that lot doesn’t violate Ordinance 503, I don’t know what does. If the City of Royal Oak enacted Ordinance 503 with a view to promoting the public health and welfare, why isn’t it enforcing the law uniformly? I can’t vouch for Roger’s claim the owners of the lot are “buddies” with the cops, but it certainly sounds plausible to me.

    Walk by that lot and take a look. Ordinance 503 is not being enforced uniformly!

    The prevailing statist mythology would have us believe that, without government, people with “pull” will just have their way. We would all be at their mercy. As opposed to what we have now.

  • Ticketmaster

    I agree that Code Enforcement plays favorites in Royal Oak but to the best of my knowledge Parking Enforcement does not. I know I don’t. If the meter is flashing, you get a ticket,. If it’s not flashing 0:00, you don’t get a ticket. If you get back while I’m writing it and are not rude I let you go. I’ve ticketed ctiy commisioners, Channel 7, Channel 4, wwj, 105.1 Magic fm, At&t, Comcast etc. It’s my job to write tickets, it’s not personal.
    As for code enforcement. My father was ticketed because there was a hole under the gutter on his garage. This is only visilbe if you are within about 5ft of the garage. It has been repaired form the inside, therefore no animals can get into the garage. Global Automotive (the old Citizens Bank building) at 3rd & Center has the front brick falling off the building and piling up on the sidewalk. Not only is this an eyesore but is also dangerous. It has been this way for years. This was brought to the attention of the inspector who ticketed my father. not long after that the bricks were cleaned up. Still an eyesore but an imnprovement.
    Instead of complaining on this site to people who can do nothing about it go to city hall. Bring this to the commision’s attention.

    P.S. feed the meter & quit whinning!

  • Ben Leuty

    I finally had to respond to this blog because of some of the latest comments. To TICKETMASTER, I got a chuckle because you see the whole point of blogging IS to make it public knowledge. One person complaining doesn’t have a whole lot of impact. However, a mass of people pointing out to the commission some of the corruption in this blog would have a substantial impact. I, for one, am going to the next city commission meeting. During the public comment portion, I am going to personally ask the commissioners to look into this rogue parking operation at 511 Main St. If there’s no permit, they should be shut down and in fact, should have never been operating. That chaotic and dangerous parking station could cost the city – and once again, the taxpayers – a fortune in a lawsuit. Once the city has been informed – and they certainly have been – about their lack of permit and does nothing about it, a plantiff’s attorney would have a field day in assessing the city’s liability should there be a major accident in the lot. I don’t know about the rest of Royal Oak, but I can’t afford higher taxes just because some drunk has “buddies” in the local police force and code enforcement.

  • Ticketmaster

    I understand, but blogging alone isn’t going to do anything. I doubt anyone at City Hall will do anything because they read about it on here. The more people that go to that meeting and complain about Doug’s Auto will help. Hopefuly some of the people complaining on here will actually go to the meeting and let the city leaders no there is a problem and to do something about it.

  • Anonymous

    Wait ’til Arts, Beats & Eats. You’ll all realy be bitchin’ then. All permits & passes for all city owned lots & garages will NOT be valid Fri, Sat, Sun or Mon. The meters will be covered and it’ll cost $10 per day topark in a lot or garage. Also from Woodward to Alexander or Altadena and 696 to Catalpa will be a residential permit zone. If you live in that area be sure you get you temp permits or you may get a $50 ticket. Before you start whinning about the temp permit zone, if the city didn’t do that, festival goers would take all the street parking and residents would have no place to park. Plus driveways, sidwalks, crosswalks and fire hydrants would be blocked. If you live near Grant Park, Meiniger Park, Whittier Park, the empty lots that used to be Whittier School and Longfellow school or Dondero (RO Middle School) they will be parking cars there so get used to the added traffice in your nice, quiet neighborhood for 4 days. Watch out for drunks passed out on your lawns and peeing in your bushes!

  • Rob

    I couldn’t read through all the posts so I don’t know if this has been brought up yet. But, what is the deal with no backing into metered parking spots I just got tagged for a ticket for backing into a spot behind little tree. This makes no sense to me and was astonished when i looked at my ticket printed 10 min after I parked with more then a half hour left in my meter, then I noticed comment “no backing into spots”. Are you kidding me what does my backing in have to do with anything, I backed in out of convince because the women pulling into the spot in front of me didn’t have power steering and had already been working at her park job for 5 min. I was floored when I read the ticket then looked up to see the signs everywhere, it wouldn’t even occur to me to look for that, it wouldn’t even click for me because it makes no logical sense! I mean if I wrong please left me know but as far as I’m concerned this is nothing more then a $20 cash grab!

  • The Man

    This is a response to rob who can’t read signs or a ticket.The reason you can’t back into a parking space is because the city doesn’t need you to bend their meters over and cause damage to the meter and cement foundation.The ticket is ten dollars if you pay it within 72 hours NOT 20 dollars.So rob before you park here in Royal Oak or anywhere else,OPEN YOUR EYES!

  • Anonymous

    Rob’s first 3 words say it all. He can’t read. There’s a ton of 3ft x 3ft signs with red letters on a white background that say “Do Not Back In To Parking Space.” He probably backed into the sign, too!

  • The Ticketmaster

    We must not be doing our jobs very well, no one has bitched about us in almost 10 days!

  • Anonymous

    Why do some of the meter maids park on Wiiliams St & think they don’t have to feed the meters? Where is city employee parking?

  • T J

    I know most of the Parking Enforcement Officers and they have always been nice to me and other people I know.Treat them with respect and I can assure you that they will respect you.Don’t forget they have a job to do,just like most of us.Peace and Love to all!

  • Ticketmaster

    TJ, you’re the Man! Or Woman!

  • Anonymous

    Watchout! The Meter Maids now have scooters. Get outta the way or they’ll run your ass over!

  • Anonymous

    Wow! No complaints about getting a parking ticket during AB&E. The Metermaids must not be doing their jobs.

  • Ticketmaster

    How come no one’s complaing about us issuing them tickets? Did you all finally realize we’re just doing our jobs? You’re the person responible for you getting a ticket.

  • meter man

    How come no one’s complaing about us issuing them tickets? Did you all finally realize we’re just doing our jobs? You’re the person responible for you getting a ticket.

    • Elballoonrat

      Meters mean there is less money for consumers to spend at Royal Oak businesses. Meter Maids mean less money for consumers to spend at Royal Oak businesses.

      If I wasn’t taxed for spending money I just might spend more. As a result jobs might pay more than $14/hr and there might be more of them available.

      If you want to see a great example of a small tall with extremely successful small downtown businesses check out the parking situation in Winter Park Florida.

      • The Mayor

        Meters are only 50 cents per hour. If that cuts into your spending then keep your cheap ass at home.

  • Par King

    Another beautiful day to issue tickets. Better run thru thr rain to feed your meter!

  • none

    Wow, maybe people haven’t been posting because you guys are a little rude. Rob got a ticket for backing into a metered space and you guys attacked him. I’ve lived in a lot of areas, including Chicago, and never have I seen a “Do not back into a space” sign until I moved to RO a month ago and it shocked me a little. Shit happens, you don’t have to make fun of Rob for not seeing the sign, he was just asking a question. I am not saying Rob is not at fault, yes the parking enforcement is doing their job just like we do ours, but he was asking what backing into a space had to do with anything!!

  • The Man

    This is for the person complaining about rob backing in.Before I became a parking enforcement officer,wherever I would park somewhere,I always read the signs so I wouldn’t get a ticket.I doubt that the officer attacked him for backing in.The reason you can’t back in,is because some drivers don’t know how to back in without bending the cities meters and doing damage to the concrete.So please take my advise,wherever you travel,take a few minutes,and read the signs,save that town some headaches and your money.

  • Meter Reader

    Walk into a lot & look at the signs. They are obvious. We weren’t trying to be rude but there are tons of signs & they are about 2ft x 2ft, white with red lettering & are reflective at night. There are also plenty of signs stating price & hours of operation. Plus each meter explains this as well.
    Not having any change won’t be a good excuse much longer, the city is getting meters that take ATM & credit cards.

  • The Man

    The people who go to cities that they know have meters,why don’t you come prepared with change.I don’t know how many times I have been asked for change or where can I get change,but that is not part of my job is to supply you with change.I also don’t wait by every expired meter and wait to see if you are coming back with change.If you are inside of a bar or restaurant,don’t set off your alarm or blink your lights to scare me away,it doesn’t work,I just write faster and your still going to receive the ticket.Maybe if try to be a nice,polite person you might just catch a break from us,who are all very nice and polite Parking Enforcement Officer’s just doing our job!

  • Another Man

    Soon you won’t need change. Royal Oak is getting some meters that take ATM, debit & credit cards as well as change. If you are parked at one of these meters you will have abosolutley no excuse if you get a ticket. As The Man said, if you’re returning to your car and we’re ticketing you, be nice. We have no way to know when or how long your meter has been expired or that you went to get change. Be nice and nice things happen.

  • P.E.O.

    The ticket is $10, not $20. The reason is: the wheels are farther from your rear bumper than they are from your front bumper. Therefore when backing in you are more likely to hit the car parked behind you or the meter before your wheels would hit the curb. I don’t know how backing in could be more convenient than pulling in forwards. Either way you have to do both at some point.

    • Jeff

      I know this is an OOLLLLDDD topic but I just got a ticket for backing into a space and couldn’t believe it could actually be a law. I drive an F150 with a long wheel base and it is 1000 times easier to back into one of the tiny little parking spots than to pull forward. If it doesn’t make sense to you find a friend with a truck and try it, it reduces how much space you need on either side to squeeze in. Its really sad that the average driver is that terrible at driving that they have to mandate not backing into a spot.

      In royal oak’s defense, I saw the sign. I disregarded it because I saw no reason for it and didn’t feel like backing up and pulling forward 5 times to fit into the only available parking spot in Royal Oak. If anything reading the ticket made me feel the urge to drive backwards and knock over the meter to get my 10 dollars worth. 

  • The Man

    He Rob,go to rite aid and buy some reading glasses,the frickin signs are all over the place.You can’t back in numb nuts cause you will bend the meter over.I know it makes no sense to you but your not the one footing the bill when some brain dead person like yourself,backs in and does a couple thousand dollars worth of damage,its me the tax payer who lives in Royal Oak!If you don’t like Royal Oaks rules,go somewhere else,you won’t be missed.

    • Tom C.

      Hey Man, calm down. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the parking meter? No wonder everyone hates metermaids!

  • Assemblylineconcert

    To “The Man” or other RO Parking Officer: I recently got a ticketed for parking in the alley. It’s the alley between 4th and 5th, West of main. As I recall, there are no signs anywhere in that alley. If there is, they are certainly not obvious.

    I got there at approx. 7:10pm, unloaded a few hundred pounds of music equipment by myself, which took an additional 4 minutes. So I left my car at 7:14pm, tail gate down, and unfortunately did not turn on the flashers. I got back to my car at 7:30pm, and there was a ticket which was written/printed at 7:27pm. Under the “Remarks” section, it was mentioned I was there over 20 minutes, which I believe to be highly unlikely.

    I am not a business owner in Royal Oak, so I was ignorant to the loading pass Royal Oak requires.

    First question: Do I stand a chance in court?
    Second question: Is there a court fee, if so, how much?

    • IKnow

      You do stand a chance in court. The ticket may not get thrown out but your fine may get reduced. There is no court fee. There is one Parking Cop who is a little too aggressive when it comes to parking/loading/unloading in alleys.

    • PEO.of Royal Oak

      No Parking in alley’s in Royal Oak is a city ordnance.To be on the safe side,if it isn’t a parking space,I wouldn’t take the chance and get a ticket.Walk a couple hundred feet,it won’t kill you.

      • Assemblylineconcert

        You must have missed the part where I mentioned “a few hundred pounds of music equipment”.
        So, walking a few hundred feet, in this case, would diminish my life considerably.

  • helpful

    Remember to feed your meters this Holiday season. There are no “Free” days until December 24th, 25th, 31st and Jan 1st. 11am to midnight except Sundays and the above mentioned holidays.

  • Resident

    I just don’t get it,most people won’t blink an eye of spending five dollars on a beer or even more for a mixed drink in Royal Oak,but the same people will complain about putting a couple of dollars in the meters.The city has to pay someone to clean the lots and maintain them.Why should the residents have to pay with their tax dollars to clean up after all the people that litter paper,empty bottles ,and all sorts of other trash in our city? It is really simple people,throw a few quarters in the meters and quit whining !

    • Bobnamath

      How much money does a parking lot cost to clean? So I’m paying up to $0.75 per hour to have someone clean up my rectangle of rented concrete, and paint parking lines every 5 years? That’s a feeble argument. If the meter profits don’t cover the cost of clean-up in the entire downtown, then something is horribly wrong, and it might be time to challenge the salary of the street sweeper. Or an even better idea is to turn all the parking officers into “litter officers”, and charge fines for littering. It’s likely more profitable, and only the people who are guilty are being punished for clean-up costs. Of course, Royal Oak’s solution would be to hire litter AND parking officers. And pretty soon, if you breathe the air without a license, you will be fined.

      The problem is more complex than “whining” and to just “throw a few quarters in the meters”. It’s about the penny-pinching tactics, such as increasing hourly rates and meter hours, yet keeping the same 2 or 3-hour parking maximum. It’s about allotted valet spots, rather than business owners’ employee parking. Some people who work downtown, like myself, would have to move our car every 3 hours, right? Most businesses aren’t granted parking passes for employees. I suppose we could park in a parking garage for the low price of $5.00.

      Everything points to greed and misappropration, rather than maintenance and validity. Not everyone treats the downtown like a trash can. Some of us just don’t appreciate being over-charged, restricted to a time limit, in addition to likely having Michigan’s most efficient parking ticket officers ready to print an $8.00 fine or more.

      Sure, I can respect someone that is doing their job, but that doesn’t mean I have to respect their career choice. Perhaps like the Nazi Gestapo, they have little choice, once recruited to follow orders, and meet quotas. But that doesn’t defeat the immoral aspects to the laws they uphold and the superiors they obey. The parking officers should go on strike, demand more money each time Royal Oak increases parking fees. This way there would be a constant strike…haha.

      The proof is in the pudding. An expired meter was a $6.00 fine last year, and is now an $8.00 fine. Alley parking a year ago was $30.00 fine, now it’s $50.00 fine. Correct me if I’m wrong with the current rates. The only other company that get’s away with price-gouging like that is oil companies.

      The more frustrating thing is that there is little we can do about it, other than going to city meetings to complain. That will rarely, if ever, change anything. Once cities are used to a certain amount of income, they rarely pull back.

      And other mindful debate topics and or rebuttals, I’d be glad to read.

      • Resident

        I can see Mr.Bobmath doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.In 2008 the tickets were 5,then last year they were 8,now they 10, so before you open your big mouth,know what your talking about!As far as picking someone’s career,who are you to pick their job,did someone put you in charge on career day in high school?The reason the city has a time limit is because most employee’s would park in front of where they work for 8 to 12 hour’s,and guess what Mr.know it all ,your customers go somewhere else.So again, throw a few quarters in the meter,or park in the parking deck,it won’t kill you to walk a few blocks,unless you happen to live or work in that 3rd world country sewer we all call DETROIT!

        • Bobnamath

          Thanks for correcting the fines. So $5 in 2008, $8 in 2009, and $10 in 2010. Now we know specifically how much Royal Oak is price gouging each year! Thanks for the evidence which still supports my argument, you small mouth!

          By the way, there is a difference between the words “your” and “you’re”. It also helps to have at least one space after sentences. Using paragraphs helps separate points during an argument as well, so please consider these tips for your future comments.

          I was not in charge of “career day” in high school, but I would recommend that you stay away from any type of English, grammar, or debate-type fields. Your arguments are really making Royal Oak “residents” look bad.

          Also, I do expect employees to be able to park in front of their businesses for the duration of their work day.

          I am most confused by this statement: “…and guess what Mr.know it all, your customers go somewhere else.”

          How do you know where I work, and where potential customers will shop in the future? Please explain this to me.

          How did Detroit get brought into this? And how does it pertain to this argument?

          I look forward to destroying your future arguments.

          • resident

            Mr.English teacher,I might be a small mouth,but I can tell by your response,your just some big mouth bone smoking fag.Go home to mommy ,suck on her tit and cry yourself to sleep!Have a good day.

          • Parked

            Bob,

            If we’re making grammatical corrections here, Brandon missing the word ‘park’ in para 4 of the original post. Worry about the author first man, they got enough copy editors working at this joint to not let that crap slip through :)

      • TopMeterCop

        The reason they have a time limit is to prevent employees from tying up the prime spots all day. If I were to go to a business in downtown Royal Oak I would not walk several blocks in the cold weather from my car to your business. But if there was a space available within a few storefronts I would consider it. There are plenty of other businesses that have their own parking lots.
        Parking in the Center Street garage and south Lafayette St garage is free for the first 2hrs and 50 cents hr after that if you get in before 5pm. After 5pm it’s $5 at Center St & $3 at s Lafayette. Also you can by monthly parking permits for less than $50 per month. The city sells parking permits for city owned lots at different rates depending on what lot you want to park in.
        The reason cities charge for parking is is to help offset the costs of maintaining lots & garages, plowing snow, mowing grass, leaf pick up, etc. It helps to keep residents taxes a little lower.
        What Al meant by “your customers go somewhere else” is that if they can’t get a close parking spot they’ll go to one of several other businesses just like yours that has it’s own parking lot.
        No one forced you to open a business in downtown Royal Oak, it was your decision. Did you look at your building at night? Did you miss the parking meters when looking for a location for your business.
        $10 for a ticket is reasonable. Most big cities charge more than that to parking in a lot or garage. Their tickets are $25 or more for an expired meter.
        If you think you have it so bad in Royal Oak watching Parking Wars on A&E on Tuesdays at 10pm and see how it is in Philly. Their Meter Maids make RO’s look like choir boys.

  • TimBuk2

    I find the comparison of Meter Maids to the Gestapo a bit of a stretch. One was a group of people bent on destroying a people and culture through mass extermination and the other just writes tickets for people who forget to bring quarters to town..

    • AL

      You are right Tim,people doing a job I wouldn’t want to do.There are other cities that charge for parking and I only hear people complain about Royal Oak.I visit those other cities and it just isn’t life changing for me to put a few quarters in the meter and be on my way! Have a great day

  • Yogi

    The new credit card meters are here. They are located on Washington & 6th in front of Pronto! and Sixth Salon and in the Railroad Lot at 6th and Center St. They take change, ATM, debit & credit cards. Now you have no one to blame but yourselves if you get a ticket.

  • BrianCal 2

    It’s the businesses that want parking meters. Come into town, spend your dollars, and get out so the next person can repeat it. I’d love to think everyone is looking out for the common good here, but resturant owners do not want you ‘relaxing,’ they want you paying and making way for the next customer.

  • Jjones

    Hiw do I get a job as a metermaid? It would be fun to harass people all day and get paid to do it!

    • PEO

      Hey numb nuts,J Jones,its called doing your job not harassment,you don’t qualify.

      • JJones

        It’s more fun being the head french fry maker at McDonalds’s anyway. Beside my boss loves me, he said if I work hard I may work my way up to Big Mac cook!!

        • AL

          J Jones,That explains it all,not to say being a cook is bad ‘you just can’t help it that your financially stupid.Those meter guys make 20 dollars per hour plus commission and aren’t stuck in some greasy ass kitchen all day.They are outside getting fresh air and looking at all the beautiful women downtown Royal Oak,so go ahead numb nuts move up to hamburger cook ,LOL.

          • JJones

            hey there are lotsa hot women that come into fast food joints. You how many times girls show mw their boobs to get free fries?

  • 75&sunny

    I think the meter maids deserve a raise for walking around in this cold ass weather. They also deserve credit for bringing in money to this broke ass city. Without them your taxes would definitley be hire and there would be less police to patrol your neighborhood. Next time I see one I’ll buy them a cup of hot chocolate.

    • 75&sunny

      Higher not hire, my bad.

  • Www MSUsucks

    What’s with all the morons parking in front of two meters? Its one per car people. The fact that there are two meters on one pole should give you a clue that should you pull forward or back up. These are the idiots who whine & bitch about the parking guys being a$$holes. There meter guys didn’t park your car illegally, YOU did stupid!

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  • April Fools

    Did you hear that they’re laying off all the meter maids?!

  • AL

    Listen up people,I will give you a little insight on how NOT to get a parking ticket.First,pay attention to what meter is yours and put the money in the right meter.Second,don’t take up both meters spaces,you get one for your money.Third,don’t park anywhere that is posted,No Parking,Loading Zone,and read all the signs and time limits.That handicap permit is assigned to a person not a vehicle,so if grandma tells you to go ahead and use it and you get caught,don’t cry about the $150.00 dollar fine.Please don’t walk up to the Parking Officer and tell him ,my meter has only been expired for 10 or 15 minutes,when your meter flashes red expired,you are out of time and you get a ticket.Remember this,anyone who receives a ticket,earned it,for not following the parking rules,so pay attention!

    • Anonymous

      Al, Good Morning
      I am sure that the folks who visit Royal Oak annoy you, and I would assume some are rude and inconsiderate, I sure do not envy the meter maids job. However, what if we all looked at them as our customer, because they are AL. Those customers are the reason you and I are employed.

      Setting their sometimes rude, and maybe even obnoxiousness a side, why must we poke them in the eye with a pencil over fifty cents in a parking meter after they just spent money eating here, drinking here, shopping here and so on. I get you don’t see it that way, and there are a zillion reasons why the customer is stupid and should know they will get a ticket if the meter runs dry, because they will,

      Just remember Al, without them we don’t need you, or me. Take a drive through say Flint for a rude awakening of what a deserted town can look like. Perhaps then we may wake up and figure out how to grow our local economy with new and diverse ideas opposed to yesterdays nonsense.

      • AL

        Hey Urbanewang,flush out your head gear,Flint wasn’t destroyed by parking meter guys it was all the criminals and lack of respect of your city just like that third world country we all call Detroit.All the deserted store fronts are from the criminals who go unpunished and the filth people in Detroit love living in.I don’t let people annoy me,its their attitudes that they think they can come to Royal Oak,trash it,park any place they choose and cuss me out because they forgot to pay the meter,or park in handicap because they think some handicap person doesn’t need that space tonight.Well guess what,you better hope I don’t catch your dumb ass ,cause I don’t believe in giving breaks to a–holes!

        • Anonymous

          Al, It is a travesty to hear public workers talk like you are. Your opinion and voice is always welcome here at The Urbane Way, however your condescending attitude and vulgar language deserves reprimand,

  • –L

    Parking enforcement isn’t the issue so much as lack of proper signage indicating the HOURS of enforcement. I visit Royal Oak about once a year or less. Around 9 o’clock tonight, I happened to stop in for a bite to eat at a once favorite place. I checked the meter and noted it was a little after nine and as per usual and customary I wouldn’t expect parking fees to be in effect past nine…but I wanted to be on the safe side, so I looked high and low / all over the meter and up and down the street for any signage–there wasn’t ANY indication of the hours of enforcement. I noticed the meter had a nice little digital display stating the time of day and other scrolling messages, but do you think they could have used that display to say something about the hours? No, that would be the upfront, honest thing to expect of a city that isn’t out to lure unwitting visitors into their unfair ploys of unreasonable revenue enhancement. So a little after 10 I found the unwelcome spit in the face of a parking ticket on top of the earlier offense per the city having not posted proper signage.

    #1 all parking enforcement hours should be clearly stated within plain sight, if not directly on each parking meter.
    #2 any city not posting proper signage and yet setting the hours of enforcement to something unreasonably late (anything after nine is absurd) is guilty of deception with intent to rob unsuspecting visitors.
    #3 it isn’t about the requirement to pay–I expect to pay, but I do expect to be well informed within plain sight of (or directly on) the meter, what the hours of enforcent are, ESPECIALLY when the hours are SOOOOOOOO absurd.

    So take my $10 parking fine, Royal Oak. That’s the LAST pennies of mine you’ll get because it’s the LAST time I patronize any of your businesses. You can blame the shotty parking signage for that.

    • Party Boy

      I am a veteran of parking in Royal Oak and I have noticed that every meter has parking hours and cost right under the glass. Some meters have different cost at different times. I park all over town so I just look at the meter I am at to see cost and enforcement hours. Seems pretty simple to me…

      • Partyboy

        I have to take that back. I did use one of the new credit card meters yesterday and they do not have enforcement times on them. They should.

    • AL

      Best advise I could give you,go to costco and buy some glasses.Every meter in Royal Oak has the time and amount per hour.The streets have signs and also the lots,they just don’t have a sign every two feet. Trust me you won’t be missed,We have enough parking moron’s.

  • Alanacherie

    My girlfriend and I ate at Oak City. We put money in the meters and thought it ended at 9. Royal Oak made $20 off of us. There are alot of great restaurants in Troy and I could have had a steak. Next time I will.

    • Al

      Next time,why don’t you try and read the signs ? All streets and lots have signs stating 11 am thru 12 midnight .Eat your steak in Troy,Royal Oak has enough parking morons!

  • http://www.facebook.com/annaslowik Anna Słowik

    parking in royal oak is awful… I’ve probably actually parked at a meter 5 times over 2 years, and gotten 3 tickets. for my most recent one I couldn’t come up with $10 and a way to get to the court in 72 hours, now I owe $25 for a parking violation. I work at jimmy john’s and going to work isn’t worth going to when I have to work 4 hours just to pay for parking..

  • Anonymous

    Anna,3 tickets in 2 years? If you buy a parking pass,you wouldn’t have to worry about a ticket and park all you want.It is 2 dollars a day to park in the lots,to me that is cheap to park in Royal Oak .

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickskeba Nick Skeba

    How about not driving?  Its called walking and you can park in the nearby housing area and walk around.  Why does everyone in Detroit drive so much?

  • slappy

    How do ya’ll like the credit card/ATM meters?

  • Nunya

    Recently Royal Oak added meters on University, just north of main next to the highrise. Before adding them that street was usually full of parked cars. whoever drives around and scouts locations to put new meters must have gotten excited at the possibility of more revenue. Little did they know, most of the people that park there also have permits to use the parking structure in the highrise. So now that there are meters those people are simply parking back in the garage… and the meters are empty. Good call Royal Oak. !!!

    • bo

      I drove by there the other night and noticed 6 out of 7 cars with parking tickets.

  • Apalma

    I definitely will think twice about visiting Royal Oak after getting a $50 ticket for parking in a lot. I parked by an ice cream shop and planned to return for ice cream after a show. I got the ticket with in a half hour of parking there. So, do I need to move my car to each store I plan to visit or can I park and walk around. Stupid…lost my business. I will go to Rochester next time.

    • Business Owner

      The business owners will call if you’re parked in their lot and not in their business. Parking is limited at most businesses. Parking Enforcement cannot go onto private property to issue tickets unless called to do so by property manager or owner. The officer that wrote you was just doing his job & doing it at the wishes of the business owner.

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  • Aaron Shaub

    I am definitely never going back to Royal Oak and neither is my crew. I am visiting from Oregon chilling with some old friends. We decide to go to arts beats and eats as it sounds like fun. I parked 20 blocks away on a street with no signage on or at beginning of the street. We all thought we were good. $50 Wrong

    • Resident

      There were 5ft tall by 8ft wide construction barricades with 3ft by 3ft signs on them stating permit parking only at the entrance to every street within about a 1sq mile area. I have lived in the area for all the years AB&E has been in RO and there is NOT a lack of signs, just a lack of attention by the festival goers parking in the neighborhoods.

  • Unhappy Visitor

    You are eligible for a parking ticket in the city of Royal Oak even
    after paying to park in a public garage. I learned this the hard way in
    March of 2014 when I returned to my vehicle after a night on the town.
    It’s sad to see a municipality so desperate for revenue. I doubt if I
    will ever feel the need to return.