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Don't Park on the Grass Fool Sign Required: $835 Iowa City Parking Tickets

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Parking tickets suck. One Iowa woman's got a whopper: a $750 parking ticket plus $85 court fee totals a cool $835 bucks of what she deems injustice. The Council Bluffs grass she parked on, above the curb and red zone she drove over to get there, is feeling a bit violated too.
This parking ticket isn't related to a major, metropolitan city that gets cramped for space.While parking in a red zone or no-parking area in New York is no more legal, it can be slightly understandable from a local resident's view. This Council Bluffs, Iowa, woman -- who's claiming unfairness -- admits passing open parking spaces, and physically driving over a curb to access and park on the grass of the local Sports Recreation Complex.
Attending your kid's baseball tournament apparently gives you preferential parking rights. The woman says she didn’t think she was breaking the law, by parking on open grass. The concept seems to be that other people were doing it, so therefore it was legal. That's keeping in mind the red curb, clearly labeled with spray-painted 'NO PARKING' letters, that Laura Sherman drove over in order to access the grass area. Sherman seems not to have had a whole lot of experience outside of the Council Bluffs area -- since most cities don't offer open parking lots that are seated atop grass.
The Council Bluffs assistant city attorney, Don Bauermeister, seems unamused and says $15 tickets parking tickets don’t solve the problem in the Iowa city. Apparently Council Bluffs chose to up the ante. And it may just work. Most people aren't too fond of losing about a month's rent toward a parking ticket.
The Iowa city claims issuance -- of what some view as astronomically-high -- parking tickets isn't really about the money. What's perceived as a lack of respect appears to be a real issue for local governemnt: "That shade tree out there not being used — it’s not yours, right? It’s not there for your use. We have a parking lot that's empty. Use it,” Bauermeister says. Government views don't always match up to personal ones for people -- yet, in this instance, the man seems to have a point.
It's direct. But some people miss the point -- again and again. Unless there's something very memorable involved.
From a legal standpoint, Sherman just may be able to argue away that parking ticket for a win in court. She plans to have her day with the court system, anyway, later this month -- when she plans to fight the $835 ticket fine. We have signs. Respect the signs,” assistant city attorney Bauermeister says. Some others at the complex are claiming they didn't see the "No parking on grass" signs -- at least six to one dozen signs reportedly line 34th Avenue, the main road when entering the complex.
A potential issue for the city, that could arguably head in the woman's favor, is location of the signs -- which reportedly aren't physically located in front of, adjacent, or next to the patch of grass where Sherman reportedly parked her vehicle. There is a physical sign, actually located within the parking lot where Sherman drove through, that says "No Parking on Grass" -- and of course the claim will follow that the sign wasn't easily viewable from every angle. But the court may well find that the Council Bluffs city isn't even legally required to post signs for fools that don't understand the concept of not parking on a grass area located above a red curb in an actual parking lot. Motorists don't exactly find 'No Parking' signs on every stripway of median or greenery. It's kind of one of those concepts that's usually inherently understood as a 'no-go'.
"You would think the crime would fit the fine,” Laura Sherman told the media. Fellow complex-parker Ralph Balsono says: “They should have lined her up and shot her then. Eight hundred dollars is crazy." Perhaps Sherman would've preferred that route.
According to Sherman : "I looked, and I didn't see any signs [legally prohitibing parking on the grass]. It's disappointing."
In the land of the entitled, many things are disappointing. But, actually, disappointing is finding your car towed, impounded and missing -- and having no idea as to which impound yard the vehicle is now located.  Let's just say Sherman's apparently not too familiar with the regular habits of major cities like New York, Boston or Los Angeles. The impound fees would've passed eight hundred bucks simply by the time she'd located it. 
For anyone who's made the assumption that the woman involved in this scenario must be elderly or a bit senile, think again. Watch the KETV News video "$835 Parking Ticket Leaves Woman Furious" on YouTube -- to get the full effect.


Council Bluffs, IA 51503
United States
41° 15' 42.9984" N, 95° 51' 38.9988" W
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Average: 5 (1 vote)