RollBackTolls leader finds car ticketed before meter expires

RollBackTolls leader finds car ticketed before meter expires

Carlos Garcia’s iPhone photo confirms time still was on meter.

Was a Coral Gables meter maid a little too enthusiastic about her job or is the City Beautiful pre-ticketing potential overtime parking these days?

Kendall’s RollBackTolls leader Carlos Garcia not only claims someone made a mistake — he had the proof.

After feeding a meter off Ponce de Leon Boulevard on Aug. 5, Garcia attended a chamber meeting in Downtown Gables, only to return an hour later to find a parking ticket on his car windshield — with six minutes left on the meter.

Because of his busy schedule in advertising, Garcia like others “on the go” sets an alarm on his iPhone when parking at a meter to provide advance warning of elapsing time to avoid a ticket.

“I took pictures with my iPhone of the ticket alongside the meter that shows six minutes’ left,” said Garcia, who took the evidence to a state auto registry where he was told to fill out a complaint form.

“They said I’d get an answer in 30 days. It’s only $18 but it’s the principle of the thing,” declared Garcia, a Lindgren Acres resident, better known countywide for his battles with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) to roll back tolls on county expressways.

Maria Higgins Fallon, Coral Gables Public Affairs Manager, initially told this newspaper that such cases “were very rare” and after being contacted by Garcia, volunteered to handle its disposition quickly on his behalf.

According to Fallon, parking tickets mistakes “do happen,” although sometimes a legally ticketed driver may leave a citation on someone else’s windshield.

After forwarding the photo evidence, Garcia’s ticket was voided on Aug. 11 with Fallon’s thanks “for your patience and please come back to visit Coral Gables.”

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