Rolly: Parking issues lead to boycott of SLC businesses
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With the number of complaints I have received about over-aggressive and sometimes incompetent parking enforcement in Salt Lake City, it was a matter of time before someone would say they have had enough and would no longer shop or dine in Utah's capital city.

So say hello to Lee Siegel, a Murray resident, University of Utah employee and former science writer for The Salt Lake Tribune.

Siegel has formally informed Mayor Ralph Becker he will no longer spend money in his city.

The breakup came Monday when Siegel stopped for an early lunch at Koko Kitchen, 702 S. 300 East, where he has dined many times in the past. He parked at the curb on the south side of 700 South in front of the restaurant, the same place he has parked when eating there for the past decade.

But this time, when he finished eating and returned to his car, he had a ticket, which said he was parked within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection. The ticket was issued on Columbus Day, so he couldn't go to the parking services office to protest because it was closed, even though the enforcers were out and, for the first time in 10 years, decided where he parked was too close to the intersection.

It's not the first time I've heard of tickets being issued for things that were not seen as violations in the past. And, I suspect, it won't be the last time I hear about a boycott of city businesses because of it.

Speaking of Columbus Day • While enjoying a walk near downtown Salt Lake City Monday, a reader noticed many people parking at the curbs and putting money in the fancy new kiosks for parking. Curious, he later checked the Salt Lake City Parking website and noticed there was nothing on the site telling motorists that parking is free on legal holidays.

He then went to one of the kiosks and saw no notice that parking is free on holidays. He put some money in the kiosk to get a receipt and noticed there was nothing on the receipt about free parking on legal holidays.

But Salt Lake City ordinance 2.56.200 clearly says parking at metered spaces is free on legal holidays, and Columbus Day is one of the holidays listed.

So the city, subscribing to the theory that what you don't know won't hurt you, received a bit of a windfall on Monday.

But if you kept your receipt, you might want to go to parking enforcement and demand a refund.

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign • I recently was alerted to a small irony by an observer who noticed a campaign sign for Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell on the Glover Lane overpass above I-15 in Farmington, about 40 feet away from a sign at the end of the overpass that says it is illegal to put signs on the overpass.

Bell, as lieutenant governor, is in charge of state election laws.

Mark Thomas, election law director, says he has discussed concerns with Utah Department of Transportation officials about signs illegally placed along public corridors. But it's difficult to control sign activity with all the other responsibilities road crews have.

University of Utah football patrons know about the hundreds of campaign signs placed on the lawn in front of Rice-Eccles Stadium before home football games this fall. That, too, is illegal. When Thomas contacted U. of U. police after he received complaints, the response was: "Do you want us to spend our time with traffic and crowd control, or taking down campaign signs?"

Maybe they were busy taking down campaign signs at the end of the Utah-BYU game when nobody stopped the crowd from storming the field, getting a penalty, and almost costing the Utes the victory.

Here comes the judge • I wrote in Wednesday's column that Congressman Jim Matheson almost walked into a Mia Love fundraiser at the Harmons near City Creek but noticed he was in enemy territory and walked away before Love supporters could snap pictures of him on their cellphones.

Actually, it was federal appellate Judge Scott Matheson Jr. who came close to inadvertently joining the fundraiser for his brother's opponent.

prolly@sltrib.com