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Publication date: 08/14/2002
Metering out justice
BY DAVID KIEFER
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 parkingticket.com, 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.”