Parking hospitality

Expired metersWhile meeting a friend for a coffee at the hipster Buckhead spot Sip, I realized that the 45 minutes I had paid for on the parking meter had expired. I hustled over to my car, ready with an explanation about why I was late, expecting to find the traffic cop with a ticket at the ready.

But I returned to find an expired meter, with a ticketless car. My time was up, but nobody cared.

I never owned a car in London, in part because I was intimidated by the parking police. They circled parked cars like sharks, with tickets at the ready, so as soon as the meter time was up, they pounced.

I saw drivers sprinting towards them, begging, sometimes weeping, with the cop, but almost never succeeding in avoiding the ticket.

And that ticket generally cost more than 50 pounds. My coffee friend told me that if I had gotten a ticket, I could expect to pay about twelve dollars.

In terms of parking, Atlanta really is the land of the free.

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