Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What a Scam!

Just about 20 steps out of the gym this morning, I collected a jaywalking ticket. Well, it was actually a ticket for crossing against the light. I figured that since Pike Street was closed by construction, the going was good. But this twerp of a motorcycle cop didn't see any merit to that argument. I also told him that if there's a crosswalk across an intersection, it doesn't matter what color the light is, because it's still a crosswalk. In other words, you can wander out into the street with the light against you and traffic is still obligated to stop. He was having none of it, telling me that since I lived downtown, I should know better. I told him that I lived in Belltown, not downtown, and that he should study his Seattle geography a little more thoroughly. My only regret is that I handed my ID over to him so readily. I should have told the little pipsqueak to take a hike and gone on my way. Yeah, that probably would have ended well.

See, I cross against the light all the time. I've been doing it for decades. It's the only way to get anywhere on foot in this crummy town. How many tickets have I gotten in my 19 years in Belltown? Zero. The cops have heavier crime to fight, which they sort of don't do a lot of the time. Belltown is one place, but downtown is completely different. I see the cops swarming all over 3rd Avenue in the morning, mostly pulling over cars. It happens with such frequency that it smells like a scam. It's like the city, hurting for money, has enacted these stupid laws that will increase revenue via fines to drivers and pedestrians. I feel like I was caught up in that effort this morning. The fact that the street was closed made no difference. I was beholden to the letter of the law, not the spirit. And the goal of all this police activity is not to stop crime or increase public safety, it's to make money for the city. And the downtown portion of 3rd Avenue at that time of day is the city's cash cow. Like I said, it's a farce. I'm gonna fight this ticket. And even if I lose, I won't pay it. I'm not giving the city $56 for this lunacy.

Just to underscore my point, a block further on, this same tin-plated lawman was writing up some other guy for the same thing when I passed by. I told the guy has was getting conned by the law and that he should fight the charges. The cop eyeballed me for second and then continued to write the guy up. You know, I have nothing against him personally, although he was kind of a shit. It's the city that put him up to this dumbness. I think I need to start writing letters or fighting the power or something.

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