Summer is here and a lot of us travel north to cooler climes from the Indian Wells Valley. If you travel through Bishop be forewarned: “there’s a new sheriff in town”. Akin to the age-old unethical use of speed traps, Bishop has found a way to pad their coffers with at least one version of a Parking Trap. The parking area behind Carl’s Jr. Restaurant is popular for travelers and is apparently owned and managed by the City of Bishop….and apparently the City is in economic dire straits, as are many these days. My parking ticket is a small sheet of paper containing 19 check-the-box statements, each of which describe a way a vehicle might not meet the exact requirements of being correctly parked in Bishop. THERE ARE NO SIGNS OR POSTINGS OF ANY KIND TO INDICATE CITY OWNERSHIP OR PARKING ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT. The “new sheriff” is a dedicated enforcer in a dedicated car who patrols this spot several times an hour (I observed). The citation is processed by a contractor in Huntington Beach and the process for payment is made simple…SASE and mail, or credit card on-line. There is an easy initial avenue for protest, but it is a sham (I had a good case and tried) and the next higher one is infeasible ($80 fuel cost for a hearing vs. $30 easy bail payment…think this wasn’t thought out? Think any flatlander would make the trip?). BTW, any map website will reveal an easy bypass around Bishop: west on Schoeber Lane (just north of the golf course) to Barlow Lane; then Barlow north to 395 again at a signal at the north end of town.
STOP IN TOWN IF YOU HAVE TO, BUT BEWARE…You have been forewarned!