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sixtires58
We just returned from a two week vacation from Kentucky to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Moab and back home again. I just wanted to pass on my experience stopping for fuel and food in Parachute, Colorado which is along I-70 outside of Grand Junction.

We have a 36 foot motorhome and tow a Jeep Commander. We were looking for a place to stop to refuel and grab a quick bite to eat when we saw the exit for Parachute which had several gas stations and a Wendy's. Perfect. We pulled off and refueled first. Then we drove across the street to the Wendy's which is actually in another gas station (we didn't select that one because the pumps were hard to get into with the motorhome and Jeep. There was no place to park. I circled a realtor's office and looked to see if there was anywhere behind the gas station to park and could find nothing. So, we pulled back out onto the road and parked up against the curb on the left side of the road so we didn't block any businesses or driveways. It's a wide road and because there was no where else to park, didn't think it should be a problem for a quick lunch.

We went inside to Wendy's and ordered. We had just sat down to eat when a barrel chested police officer walked in a yelled "who owns this RV parked outside". I said "it's mine" and he said "you've got five minutes to move it or you're towed and you've got a ticket for illegal parking".

Okay fine, exactly WHERE am I supposed to park this thing? We grabbed our food and went to leave. Well this fine officer gave me a ticket all right. Not one, but FIVE. Parking in a fire lane (which there was no fire lane marked anywhere), parking within 30 feet of an intersection. Parking with 15 feet of a driveway, illegal parking, parking in a driving lane...you get the idea.

My problem really is this. Why couldn't the officer have come in and asked me to move it without throwing the freaking book at me?

So, what I'm saying, is that Parachute is not a very RV friendly town and if you're not careful, you'll end up with an expensive ticket like me.

Mark
BJMA
sounds like it is time to send a letter to the editor of the FMCA magazine as well as the Good Sam publication and the Office of Tourism in Boulder.
Lindsay Richards
I don't know anything about this small town, but I do know that many small towns use this type of thing to bring in money for the town. I got a horrible ticket in Emerson, Ga in a similar situation. That is a town of 1200 people with 14 cops. Everything is bogus. Sounds like you got taken. You might try to fight it, but I suspect the judge will believe the cop (after all he is a brother-in-law) before you. There are places on the Internet to report this type of thing. Write the Gov. of the state. If enough people complain, they will do something.
peggyharmann
Wow - what a terrible experience sad.gif I just came through Colorado - glad I missed that Parachute!
Glenn Norton
ohmy.gif Thanks for the tip off on Parachute, Colorado. Won't be buying any gas or food there!
pianotuna
Hi,

The OP broke the law. It he had legally parked there would be no issue. The police person did the OP a favor by *not* having the RV towed to an impound lot.

The OP was not alone and could have chosen to send someone in to pick up food which could have been eaten in the RV at some legal stopping location.
Lindsay Richards
5 tickets seems a little much. He was bringing money into a small town in hard economic times. There is also no excuse for a cop to be snotty to a citizen and especially to start the process by being snotty. I think frequently people who know they are wrong, start off being snotty as kind of a preventative intimidation. This can take place with a school yard bully, but has no place in law enforcement. Good cops never do this and I think that this really hurts the image of cops and makes it easier for children to grow up not respecting them.
rgatijnet
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jul 11 2010, 02:31 PM) *

Hi,

The OP broke the law. It he had legally parked there would be no issue. The police person did the OP a favor by *not* having the RV towed to an impound lot.

The OP was not alone and could have chosen to send someone in to pick up food which could have been eaten in the RV at some legal stopping location.



I would agree ONLY if there were signs that clearly marked this area as a "no parking" zone. Many cities have specific ordinances that the locals know about but an outsider is totally clueless. This should be a lesson to all to NOT take anything for granted when you park your rig.
HappiestCamper
I wasn't there, so I don't know the whole story. But it says they parked on the left side of the road. I'm assuming that means they parked facing traffic. That will get you a ticket where I'm from (I know, I got one - and I was parked in front of my house). Also, unless specifically marked otherwise, in my state there is a statewide law about the distance you can park from an intersection (25' in SC).

I've passed up many places I didn't feel I could get in and out of or park at comfortably.

I'll admit, 5 tickets is piling on. Most cops I've talked to said they only do that when the ticketee has a bad attitude. Not saying that's what happened here, I wasn't there.
Kirk
If we assume that Mark is telling the story just as it happened, it clearly was excessive. Did he violate the laws? From what he said at least part of them were in violations, but he was also an out of state tourist. I would give both Mark and Parachute, CO the benefit of doubt and not stop in that community. There are enough RV friendly places that it should be pretty easy to avoid this one.
sixtires58
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jul 11 2010, 07:32 PM) *

If we assume that Mark is telling the story just as it happened, it clearly was excessive. Did he violate the laws? From what he said at least part of them were in violations, but he was also an out of state tourist. I would give both Mark and Parachute, CO the benefit of doubt and not stop in that community. There are enough RV friendly places that it should be pretty easy to avoid this one.


I'm telling the story exactly as it happened. There were no signs and I gave the officer no "attitude". I had the tickets even before he walked in the door. A little friendly warning would have gone a long way here. The officer was a complete pompous a** and the amount of tickets was excessive. Each ticket referred to local ordinances. How is an traveler supposed to know about local ordinances?
Hutch333id
Being a retired Police Officer from that damp, foggy lump of rock on the far side of 'The Pond', as you ladies and gents like to call it, I'm not too familiar with the laws stateside but it certainly seems a little harsh for the police officer to do this without providing a warning or keeping the tickets to one of the less severe traffic violations. However, as these tickets were for local town bylaws are they actually enforceable outside of the jurisdiction of the police service for that town? Would they track you down across multiple states in order to have you pay the penalties? If these tickets were written using Provincial or State legislation perhaps they would come and get you or issue a warrant but for local town bylaws, I'm not too sure. I did some law enforcement up here when I first moved to the frozen north (Canada) and if I issued a ticket for a municipal bylaw (parking on the wrong side of the street, within 5m of an intersection, etc.) and the driver declined to pay I couldn't pursue the matter any further unless they lived in my area of jurisdiction. For that reason I tended to stick with Provincial traffic laws - much less hassle (for me).
NorthernIllinoisPlumber
What is "barrel chested?" You immeditately describe the officer before you explain what happened...Sounds like you caught him on a bad day....maybe. I would call the officer, and see if you can talk about it.
jan-n-john
I once got a parking ticket in another state, and in a tourist town at that, that I thought was unfair, and decided not to pay it. You can moralize about that decision, but that's not the point of this post.

They of course got my address from the computer tapes, and various non-payment notices (obviously automatically computer generated) starting arriving, with increasing fines and threats. I decided to hang tough, as much because of their threats as anything. My little way of sticking it to the man I suppose. This went on for maybe 2 years, and in spite of claiming they would take me to court and all the rest, nothing ever happened. My conclusion is that they will try everything psychological they can program into their computer, but won't take real action.

Do I recommend this strategy? If you plan to be back in that state anytime soon with the same tag, probably not. And maybe other places go about it differently. But FWIW that was my experience.
Lindsay Richards
I used to be barrel chested until gravity took over.
meatwagon45
Being parked facing the wrong way in traffic will get you a ticket almost anywhere. Alot of states, counties, and towns take intersections very seriously. I too have never been to this town, but it sounds like you had 2 options. 1- send someone into the resturant and someone wait in the RV. Atleast the officer would be able to ask you to move instead of yelling into a resturant and writing tickets. The other option would be to park in the gas station lot. The station and the resturant both receive deliveries by tractor trailer. So what if you make the lot tighter for cars, you are still a paying customer and have the same rights to be in the lot.
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