Sunday, July 10, 2011
Take Me Out from the Ball Game
The Giant's game had just ended on Saturday 7/9/2011 at about 8:15 PM I drove down Townsend from 3rd to 2nd Street. A throng of people were lining the curb as I approached the corner, several of whom flagged me. I thought about pulling around the corner to the official pick up area on 2nd but the street was so crowded that I was afraid of running over people's feet. Instead, I pulled over and stopped next to the curb.
Four middle-aged men got into my cab. Simultaneously parking cop number 309 (photo) ran over and told me that he was ticketing me for stopping on a green light (probably true) and creating a "hazard" (false.) I had pulled off to the right, was not blocking traffic and a Yellow Cab had stopped safely behind me.
I asked the cop for his badge number (which he wasn't wearing. Has he had similar confrontations before?). He said his badge number would be on the citation that he was writing. I waited for him to fill out the ticket and asked him to give it to me.
He refused, saying that he would send it to me in the mail. I told that I wanted the ticket and his badge number. He repeated that his number was on the citation. I asked him again for the ticket which he had finished writing and had folded into his ticket book.
First, he said that the wouldn't give it to me because I had customers in the cab. Then, he said that I'd have to wait around for it and began to walk off with the ticket in his pocket.
Then, I stupidly called him an "asshole" (thus making him look good) and drove my customer to the Hyatt Regency.
My customers couldn't believe that he'd given me a ticket. One man was so angry that he gave his phone number and said he'd testify on my behalf. Always a good idea to have a witness.
His story also grew on the second telling. He then claimed that I'd not only created a "hazard" but had double-parked.
I went back to pick up fans from the game two more times but I went down 4th Street to Cal Tran. There seemed to be more taxis working this location than there had been on 2nd Street.
I'm wondering if it's simply easier to go down 4th? Or if other drivers have had similar experiences with this clown?
This was the second time that I've gotten a ticket after the game. The other time was for picking up customers after stopping at a red light. This cops also claimed that I was blocking traffic thus creating a "hazard." The only thing that interfered with the traffic flow in either case was the cops wasting 5 minutes of everyone's time writing me citations.
I've recently spotted several other drivers being similarly harassed by PCO's while trying to provide service for customers. Would it be unfair for me to suggest that these characters have their priorities backwards? Shouldn't they be concentrating on getting taxis to the public instead of penalizing drivers for trying to do their jobs?
Deputy Director Hayashi told me later that any driver who gets tickets like this should fight them and send a copy to Taxi Services.