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Complaint of the Day: Satellite Truck Edition

by ARLnow.com July 30, 2010 at 9:52 am 2,017 21 Comments

If you spend enough time listening to Arlington’s police frequencies, you’ll notice that people love calling in to complain about things. Since complaining is so popular, we’re launching a periodic feature called the “complaint of the day,” to highlight the most humorous, outrageous or otherwise unseemly complaints received by police.

When it comes to citizen gripes in Arlington, noise complaints and “aggressive driver” complaints are common, but far and away the most frequent complaint is the parking complaint.

Vigilant civilians will call the police when a car is illegally parked in zone parking on any given weekday afternoon. They will also occasionally call to report expired meters.

This morning, someone called to report that a satellite truck — assumedly a news van — had been parked for more than four hours at North George Mason Drive and North Park Drive. We’d love to know the thought process involved with such a call — what was so bad about the truck being parked there that would justify asking police to possibly interrupt a broadcast being watched by thousands of people? (See comments.)

  • MrCar

    People all over the United States are concerned with all matters parking – more so often than issues related to our children (although that is a close second). We want to be able to park wherever we want (for free, of course) and do not want anyone to park anywhere near our own house. It’s basically a corollary to dependence on automobiles. Cars do not function unless there is a place to store them when they are not in use. Anything that threatens, hinders or makes it even slightly inconvienent to store one’s car is going to be reacted to rather strongly.

    • charlie

      yes, people need to store their cars. Arlington does not have the needed density to support car-free lifestyles. Most people in Arlington have cars with absurdly low mileage on them — a good thing.

  • Greg

    I’ve seen this truck. The caller didn’t give enough information. The truck has been camped on Park Drive behind Barrett Elementary for a week or so. It’s not transmitting. The antenna is down. It’s just being stored there.

    That portion of Park Dr. is 4 hour parking from 8-6 and the truck already has at least one parking ticket on the windshield. Not the crime of the century but not really complaint of the day worthy either….

  • Stacey

    Citizens call about expired meters? Really? Don’t you think the Arl police have more important things to watch for than dispatching the meter maids? Those Arlingotn Meter Maids are already on top of it…you come back 2 seconds late and you have a ticket.

    • Stacey

      And not to mention, don’t those citizens have anything better to do? I can’t imagine getting so worked up about someone being parked at an expired meter that I would call the authorities. How about spreading some positive karma and putting a quarter in the meter?

      • potato man

        it’s stupid, but I think that putting money into someone else’s meter is considered “obstruction of justice” or something like that. I could be wrong though

  • charlie

    Well let’s say the truck is parked, but idling. It is probably diesel which means it is noisy and it stinks. I’d call.
    Commercial vehicles don’t belong in neighborhoods.

  • GK

    In my parents neighborhood we have a whole fleet of commercial handyman/contractor trucks from the same company. 4-5 trucks plus personal cars two blocks down from his parent’s house. It leaves little or no parking available for residents of the block. I checked the laws as best I could on Arlington’s website and it is perfectly legal. They are all under a certain gross weight too, so that angle is out. The bottom line… the rules aren’t as clear cut as you think. And yes, it does suck.

  • How about the trucks that double park on Lee Hwy during rush how. I’m looking at you Koons Toyota and Dominoes! There are times when parking a truck illegally create dangerous traffic and pedestrian situations. Speaking of what goes thru people mind, what goes thru Koons Toyota’s mind when they double park on Lee Hwy during rush hour creating one HUGE problem. Does it not occur to them that with all the advertising they do on the air, doing stupid things like this is one form of huge NEGATIVE publicity?

    • LP

      It’s not Koons Toyota that is doing this – it’s the truck driver (which has no affiliation with Koons), it’s the simplest (and only) place for them to park and offload cars.

      Where else could they do this? Park on the side street (which actually is Lee Hwy) that runs into Lee Hwy? Then one whole direction of traffic would be blocked.

  • Maggie

    Seriously? Obviously, there are people out there with too much time on their hands. Maybe they need to do something more positive. Like volunteer at a shelter or fix/repair/paint a school.

    • Will


      I call the police when cars are illegally parked across from me for even an hour. I call the police when someone lets their dog poop in front of my house and don’t clean it up. I call the police when suspicious people are talking loudly where I can see and hear them.

      You say, “Obviously, there are people out there with too much time on their hands.” I’ll just let you know that keeping my neighborhood safe and comfortable and making sure people obey the rules takes A LOT of time and I certainly DO NOT have a lot of extra time on my hands. Maybe if people like you would help out instead of mocking then well-behaved Arlingtonians like myself WOULD have time to volunteer elsewhere.

      • Jackie

        @Will, The fact that you call the cops on people who dont clean up after their dogs or people who are talking loudly instead of saying something TO THE PERSON, just shows that you have too much time on your hands. There are real and serious crimes being committed in Arlington and I would much rather have the police’s attention on that than telling someone to pick up droppings or to lower their voice.

      • Skeptical

        Dang, Will, you must be related to my 80-something neighbor who has so much time on her hands that she swoops down on people parked at the curb before they have even had a chance to get out of their car and obtain a temporary permit from the people they’re visiting. Folks come out to the street to put the pass on their cars and find a nastygram there saying the county’s been called.

        I wouldn’t want to get in a confrontation with a dog-pooper either (from experience, they can be nasty) and would prefer calling some sort of official enforcement, because that is plain nasty, but how do you ID the grumus merdae, as they call it in legal literature?

        As in everything, I think a sense of proportion is required.

  • Deb

    I’ve called the police to report illegally parked cars in the past. I had a neighbor who repeatedly parked in a no parking zone on a corner, making it so that pedestrians has to walk into the middle of the road to see if there was oncoming traffic. I felt bad for the person, because s/he was probably coming home late at night when parking is tight. But there are free spaces around the corner, and it’s not fair to others in the neighborhood. I’ve also called to report abandoned vehicles, which Arlington defines as a vehicle parked on the street without being moved for more than 10 days.

  • Jenn

    I am pretty sure this truck also parks outside Culpepper Gardens. I wondered about it because it sticks out due to size, but whats the difference between them and the limos on Park, or the other cars in the area? I think it’s hilarious someone reports a legally parked car.

    Incidentally, I work downtown and just saw a guy taking pics of a truck vendors expired meter. I mean how much effort does it take to let her know it’s expired? I let her know it was empty and filled it for her – she was thankful and I was happy to help. Much better karma for the day!

    • Greg

      It’s illegally parked. Parking were restrictions were added to that portion of Park Drive earlier this year.

      • Jenn

        It might be a different truck, but there is one frequently parked now on Pershing matching this same description (PSI on the side?) – I dont think there are restrictions in that area, but I could be wrong. Parking is tight in the area now with the new apts up and renting. Are the limos gone now then with with the new restrictions?

        • Greg

          That sounds like the same truck. A big white one. Not just a small news van.

          Yeah, the limos and VT towing trucks have moved on. I still see the limos parked on other streets in the area. Just not on Park Drive near the Lubber Run center any more. Everything around the Lubber Run center is restricted now.

  • Clay

    What difference doe sit make whether this truck is transmitting or not?

  • John Antonelli

    Great new column ARLNOW


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