I just got a new job in Burbank. Huzzah!
This means that I traverse the length of Burbank twice daily on either Magnolia Boulevard or Burbank Boulevard. Last week was my first week, and as I traveled along at 35/40 miles an hour, I watched many cars pass me by. This did not bother me one bit, because a few years ago in Burbank I got a speeding ticket for going 50 on one of those roads where the speed limit is 35 mph.
The first thing I thought of when I thought of my new commute was, I'm sure as heck not getting another speeding ticket in Burbank, and I need to be extra careful if I'm going to be driving across it twice a day.
See, the configuration of Magnolia Boulevard and Burbank Boulevard remind me of Glades Road and Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton, where I drove for many years. Driving across Burbank feels like driving across Boca, in a way, and those roads have a nice 45 mph speed limit.
Personally, I still think the 35 mph speed limit on Magnolia and Burbank is too slow.
But the cop that pulled me over was super friendly and polite. And clearly explained that despite what I might think, it's pretty dangerous to go 50 mpg on Magnolia and Burbank. Complete with examples of recent accidents. And I have to admit, no one parks along Glades and Palmetto the way they do here.
I didn't contest my - rather expensive - speeding ticket. I don't hate the city of Burbank. And I adjusted my driving habits.
Driving to and from work this past week got me thinking about my upcoming appeal to the Superior Court about my MRCA Photo Enforced Stop Sign Ticket. And how - unlike my experience in Burbank - I now feel nothing but negative feelings about Temescal Canyon Park where I got it.
See, when you fight a ticket - or really any injustice - people come out of the woodwork to tell you to just settle down and take your medicine. Meanwhile, the MRCA points to a decrease in people running their stop signs as proof of (at least) effectiveness. But is that really their goal? And is this really the best way to go about it?
I know it doesn't matter to the MRCA that I'll never step foot on their property again and how I now feel about their parks.
But maybe it should, because had I been stopped immediately and given a ticket by a uniformed employee, as required by California Public Resources Code 5786.17, and had that ticket been $100 or less, as required by California Government Code 53069.4, I would have learned my lesson, and I would have paid my ticket and moved on, and I would still go hiking at Temescal.
Perhaps said uniformed employee could even have taken the opportunity to educate me and have a dialogue the way the Burbank officer did.
Instead, a lawyer for the MRCA will testify and show evidence that I ran the stop sign. He and everyone else in the court will be having a normal day, somewhere they go all the time to do their jobs. I will concede that I did indeed run the stop sign and will attempt to argue that the ticket and the fee break the laws I mentioned above. All while having a totally new experience and having no representation.
I do think I have a chance - I mean, I read the laws myself and it seems pretty clear to me - but I suspect that there's a high probability that my inexperience with court will mean I don't win my case. It's still important to me to try, because I feel very strongly that the MRCA Photo Enforced Stop Sign program is unethical, illegal, a bald-faced money-making scheme, and flat-out mean.
I also think that it creates negative energy around the parks system, but I won't be arguing that in court.
My previous posts about my MRCA ticket: