This morning I commuted 2 hours to get to D.C. for a doctor's appointment at Walter Reed. I came from the south, taking I-395 North. I realized that I needed to use the restroom to relief myself about an hour into my commute but there was nothing I could do about it on a busy highway where traffic was bumper to bumper. Having Crohn's Disease my expanding bladder increased the pressure on my already inflamed bowels, thus increasing the pain and the urge to urinate. After crossing the George Mason Memorial Bridge into D.C., I tried to ignore the pain and keep going through all the traffic. By the time I got to 7th street north, I couldn't bear it any longer. I was stopped at the traffic light at 7th and E. I saw a Starbucks so I pulled over to park in front of the previous parked car (which was at the front of the line of vehicles in the parking zone). So I got out for my emergency stop. About 4 minutes later I returned to find a Parking Enforcement Officer walking away from my car as I yelled out in frustration "I was just using the restroom!" He just got into his car and drove off. The fee? $100. The violation? P007 obstruction bus stand or zone. There was a bus in front of me when I parked so I figured I could be out of the way by the time another one comes. Not that I'd be in the way, I drive a small sedan. The officer used the same logic of not being in the way for too long when he parked in front of me to get out and write the ticket. He would have prevented a bus from stopping there, not me. And I'm sure he was there at LEAST half the time my car was.
I realize this is just a way that D.C. makes money off of people but I think it is unfair considering the reason I was parked in the first place. I know the officer was just doing his job but I hope the justice system has the compassion and understanding that we humans are born with.
I talked with my doctor and he said he could write a note following my colonoscopy scheduled next week that I could present as evidence of the medical emergency to be used in my defense on the matter of denying the ticket.
I am a college student attending Northern Virginia Community College and I work at a grocery store. I am not financially suited to pay this ridiculous parking fee. The way I see it, I have 3 options:
1. Deny the ticket by mail.
2. Deny the ticket by attending an in-person hearing.
3. Admit with explanation in hopes of lowering the fee.
Does any one have any useful advice on this matter?