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August 2nd, 2006 Andra Brosy | Rogue of the Week
 

City of Portland

     
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If you want to tape a "For Sale" sign in your car window, you may risk a fine throughout the Portland metro area because many cities forbid parking a car on a public street "for the purpose of" selling the vehicle.

But the City of Portland has an enforcement policy that's especially Rogue-worthy in its stringency. Instead of a courtesy call to tell you your car's parked illegally when it has a "For Sale" sign, you'll get slapped immediately with a $35 ticket, according to Dakota InyoSwan, spokeswoman for the Portland Office of Transportation.

"How the hell would the city know I'm parking for the principal purpose of selling my car?" asks Amanda Bottger, who notified the Rogue desk that she received a $35 ticket last month. Bottger says she got the ticket after parking her blue 1962 Ford Falcon with a bright orange "For Sale" sign in the rear window (she was asking $3,200) at the Big Town Hero at Northeast 15th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard.

Inyo Swan says the city tickets without warning because parking-enforcement deputies don't carry cell phones and can't look up car owners' phone numbers on the spot.

Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro and Tigard also prohibit advertising a car on a public street, with fines ranging from $15 to $250. But they have kinder, gentler enforcement methods than Portland. If they don't receive a complaint from, say, a pain-in-the-neck neighbor, they'll leave your car alone. If someone files a complaint, they'll contact you before nailing you with a fine.

"We believe that we can solve a good majority of the problems just through conversation and education," says Barbara Simon, public affairs manager for the City of Hillsboro.

Seems reasonable to us.

 
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