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Publication date: 08/14/2002

Metering out justice


Of The Examiner Staff

Glen Bolofsky may be able to help you if —

– The only parking you can find is on the sidewalk.

– Fire hydrants are your friend.

– City tow is on your speed dial.

– You exchange Christmas cards with the meter maid.

Bolofsky may be sitting behind a desk in Paramus, N.J., but he’s

costing San Francisco millions — and proud of it.

His brainchild is, a Web site that guarantees

dismissal or reduction of parking tickets, or your money back.

If you get a parking ticket in San Francisco, New York, or

Washington, D.C., you can type the information on the Web site, and

Bolofsky may get you off the hook. He claims a 70 percent success


Clients fight tickets without leaving their homes. They don’t

have to face a judge, and judges don’t have to deal with irate


It’s all taken care of via the information superhighway. Any goof

on the ticket — most often in the make of the car or the

registration expiration date — is enough to get it thrown out.

It’s no wonder that Bolofsky is quickly becoming the scourge of

budget bean counters.

“Judges love us,” Bolofsky said. “Budgeters hate us.”

Bolofsky, author of “Cheap Parking in New York City,” began his

crusade more than 20 years ago when he grew tired of moving his car

on street cleaning days. He assembled a 10-person staff that includes

a retired judge, police officer and parking agent.

Bolofsky has created business in San Francisco without any

marketing or advertising push. Word of mouth and national media

exposure in the Wall Street Journal and on MSNBC has been enough.

A representative from the City Treasurer’s office said she was

not aware of the Web site, and calls to the Department of Parking and

Traffic were not returned.

If they’re not aware yet, they soon will be.

San Francisco collects $3 million to $4 million per year on

parking violations, and Bolofsky said he gets 1,000 tickets a week

from The City.

If that’s correct, San Francisco would lose $1 million annually,

perhaps one-third of its projected collection. That’s a lot of trees

that won’t get planted.

“We’re absolutely in the business of depriving them from

much-needed funding,” he said.

The reason? If cities feel the pinch, they will do more to solve

the parking crunch, or channel their priorities elsewhere.

“My goal is to put myself out of business,” he said. “That’s what

I call a lifetime achievement.”

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