Friday, November 27, 2009

A Parking Gift on a Holiday That Was

New York Times news article "A Parking Gift on a Holiday That Was" (November 27th, 2009) suggests that people who get parking tickets on the biggest shopping day of the year are not knowingly taking on more parking risk than they would on an average Friday:
Every year, a sleeping army of New Yorkers and their out-of-town guests forget that Friday is not a holiday and fail to move their cars for street cleaning.  But the city does not forget:  Traffic agents give out parking tickets furiously, more than three times the number on a usual day.  The post-Thanksgiving bonanza of roughly 20,000 tickets is worth some $900,000 to the city.
It seems a more rational explanation is that individuals recognize the risks they are taking, but their demand for goods complementary to illegally parking have increased dramatically.  The price of staying with friends and family, shopping on Black Friday, or sleeping in may seem paltry to a tripling of the probability they will get a $115 dollar ticket.

Additionally, it is worth noting that a number of tickets in New York may triple, but the number of cars that plan on paying their tickets may decrease.  The increase of individuals who live out-of-city also provides a degree of cover for New Yorkers who would like to park illegally.

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