Grass farce: County set to bring sanity to tickets issued in park

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Allegheny County has been overreacting like the grumpy neighbor who keeps shouting, “Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!”

Since mid-May, some drivers who parked on the grass in the county’s North Park returned to sticker shock — citations for $370 on their windshields. The targets included a veteran who was participating in a Memorial Day fundraiser for wounded members of the military. Thank you for your service indeed.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was stunned by the price of tickets issued by county police, and he ordered more parking spaces and explicit no-parking signs near the park’s popular boathouse, cafe and zip line. That’s been done.

Now county council members are in the process of resetting the price for violations. They agree that tags for as much as $300, set in 2006, were too high, and they seem settled on $75, enough to discourage misdeeds without being outrageous.

If police leave self-addressed envelopes with the tickets, suggested by Republican councilwoman Jan Rea of McCandless, that will encourage illegal parkers to pay promptly.

Now the county will be more like the agreeable neighbor who kindly asks children not to pick roses from her garden. 

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