UPS driver returns to double boots

United Par­cel Ser­vice de­liv­ery driv­er James Riley pulled his brown box truck in front of the “No Parking Any Time” sign late Thursday morning, hurried into downtown’s Raleigh Building and took an el­evator up to de­liv­er some packages.

As he stepped off the el­evator back at street lev­el, a woman sounded the alarm.

“Sir! Sir!” the woman cried. “They’re booting your vehicle!”

This could be a problem

“They” were City of Raleigh Park Link employees who ticket – or in this in­stance, clamp the dreaded boot – on the vehicles il­legally parked downtown.

Riley, who has been with UPS for 30 years, says he was in the building at 5 Har­gett St. no more than a couple of minutes.

Dustin Winkler, a downtown employee, said soon af­ter Riley went in the Raleigh Building, a City of Raleigh ParkLink car pulled behind the UPS truck. An employee got out of the car and attached two yel­low boots to the vehicle.

“Why did they put two on?” asked the hap­less Riley.

“Pede­s­trians (who had gath­ered) were talking about how ridiculous it was that this had to be done,” Winkler wrote in an email message to The News & Observ­er. “A co-worker and I were discuss­ing how Park Link now seems to be almost as bad as the predatory towing was a few years back and how inef­ficient the system is. Ev­ery week at least one or two people stop me on the street to ask for as­sistance us­ing the me­ters.”

Tina Overton, a spokeswoman with ParkLink, which han­dles downtown parking enforce­ment, would not say why the UPS truck was booted.

“I can’t talk about UPS, but generally, if you have three or more parking tickets that have not been paid for over 90 days you can get booted,” she said.

Riley said a ticket in October and the one he got Thursday are the only two he has ev­er received since de­liv­ering packages to downtown for the past 15 years.

His UPS truck was booted in October, too.

“They put one on and came back in 10 or 15 minutes to take it off,” he said.

The city took over downtown parking enforce­ment last June from Raleigh Park, a private compa­ny.

“The city be­lieved they could pro­vide a better ser­vice,” Overton said.

But more than a few downtown employees and res­idents think the city’s def­i­nition of pro­viding a better ser­vice has resulted in aggressive, over-the-top enforce­ment. It’s common to see parking employees in the Oakwood neighbor­hood, blocks from downtown, writing parking ci­tations.

“I wouldn’t use the word aggressive,” Overton said “But they were hired to do their job for the city.”

Raleigh News & Observer