Ah, New Haven

I live in a dense urban neighborhood, in which the majority of houses are built close together, with few driveways. So most people park on the street, and like urban residents anywhere, you have to keep an eye on the street cleaning rules — which, the permanent signs clearly state, are suspended for the winter beginning Nov. 1.

So here’s what this lovely cash-strapped city of mine does: they come by late in the day, after dark, after most people are already home for the evening, and put up a few temporary paper signs up and down the street, announcing with no warning that — surprise! — tomorrow’s a street cleaning day. And that’s considered sufficient notice, and if you don’t see the signs in time, you’re shit out of luck. I did happen to go out last night, so I didn’t get towed, but a lot of other people around here weren’t so lucky, and the city of New Haven probably just made an easy thousand bucks for itself, on my street alone. It may be legal to give people less than a day’s notice and then tow their cars, but morally, it’s barely one step above a mafia protection racket. Especially when the street cleaning “emergency” is not a massive snowstorm or something — just a normal accumulation of fall leaves.

(Some editing for clarity on this.)