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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Great Parking Ticket Adventure
Last week I wrote a post about receiving a parking ticket from an overzealous Lewis and Clark campus cop. I made a phone call and submitted an appeal to contest it. While the fine print on the school's Department of Parking and Transportation website clearly states that I would have to wait four to six weeks for a response, I decided to trek over to their office on Monday.
My home is about a five minute walk from Lewis and Clark so I set out on foot, naively expecting that the office would be conveniently located right next to the law school. Er, nope. It actually sits on the other side of SW Terwilliger on the opposite side of the main campus.
I hadn't set foot on the main campus in nearly a decade and, if you've ever been, you know that Lewis and Clark proper is a maze-like cacophony of winding cobblestone paths, Victorian-inspired buildings, gardens, hills and old growth trees that block any architectural point-of-reference. While the views of Mt Hood are worthy of a postcard, it's easy to get lost and parts of the campus, especially those statues in front of the art gallery, look like they're straight out of Pan's Labrynth.
I half-expected a mysterious goat creature to burst out of Tyron Creek and start babbling at me in Spanish about a magical underground realm buried beneath the West Hills. Plus, I'll be honest: I wandered in circles feeling like an interloper among hoards of undergrads trucking from campus to the residence halls. They could see right through my parka and messenger bag and tell that I was not one of them. The fact that I'm ten years older than them didn't help.
Anyway, the Department of Parking and Transportation sits in a corner near a parking lot tucked behind a row of dorms. Inside, a clerk was yelling at her computer, further contributing to my Lewis Carroll-marinated impression of the campus. She calmed down when she spotted me on the other side of the counter. After apologizing for the outburst and the ticket, she vowed to add my car into a database of ticket-proof neighborhood vehicles.
Total time investment to get there and back? Nearly ninety minutes but it was totally worth it, especially if it prevents any future tickets.