I’ve been thinking about Aspen’s proposed paid parking expansion. From what I’ve heard, commuters are angry, and I can understand why. It’s bad enough that gas in the valley toys with $4/gallon. Add $7/day for parking (over $150/mo.), and the working class will have to pick up a night job just to cover the cost of commuting.
Currently, hundreds of commuters take advantage of the free two-hour parking offered on the outskirts of the downtown core. The problem, the City claims, in addition to the traffic, is that many are taking advantage of the free parking by moving their vehicle every two-hours to avoid being ticketed. A survey conducted this winter determined that as many as 600 cars a day were doing the “two-hour shuffle”.
One thing I can assure you is that these people aren’t doing it for the sake of bucking the system. They are doing it because they can’t afford to pay for parking. It’s not as if it’s convenient to walk back to your car and find a new parking spot every couple hours. I would imagine it’s a complete pain in the ass. For Aspen’s working class, every dollar counts, and the two-hour shuffle is simply part of a larger effort to survive financially.
A resident of Aspen proper, I know not the burden of the commuter. I ride a bike to work. However, I do understanding the plight of the working class in this overpriced valley and I want to help. In that effort, I put forth the following idea. It’s a collective protest, of sorts. I’ve even given this idea a title, as any revolt worth a damn must have a title.
The Commuter Rebellion of 2007
The concept is simple. Parking tickets are tracked by a vehicle’s license plate. Therefore, if all commuters remove their license plates on the day the new parking meters are installed, the City will have a hell of a time assigning fines. I have read that tickets can also be distributed using the vehicle’s VIN number, but most VIN numbers are located in door frames, or some other hard to reach spot, and can not be obtained without access to the interior of the car. If your VIN number happens to be on the dash or on the steering column, simply cover it with an old unpaid parking ticket.
The thought of ticketing officers shaking their heads in frustration at the sight of hundreds of plateless cars, well, that just makes me smile.
To be successful, such a rebellion requires serious coordination. So rise up my fellow peasants! Coordinate. Let’s win one for the working class.