Parking near work

We live close enough to work that we can walk in. And that’s what we did before we had a child. But now that we have to drop her off at daycare in the morning, we do it on the way into work by driving in and parking near our work building.

Now, this started off as a sporadic thing. We started taking her into daycare in the summer, so we’d walk in with the stroller, and only use the car on rainy days. Since we didn’t need to drive in most days, we didn’t buy a permit to park at a campus lot; most of the nearby CWRU parking lots aren’t particularly close, and have a pretty sizable monthly fee ($94 and $104 per month for two potential options). Instead, we’d park “at the top of the hill” in Cleveland Heights where there were all-day parking zones, rather than the 2-hour parking zones in the streets of Cleveland (in the Little Italy neighborhood) half the distance closer to work.

Well, at some point we started driving in every day. And I stopped parking “at the top of the hill”, instead risking a ticket in overstaying the whole work day in the 2-hour parking zones. Sure, I got a couple of parking tickets, but that just allowed me to figure out how often, what days of the week, and what times of those days, the city of Cleveland enforced the parking rules in that area. It became clear that there was a clear disconnect between the price of official and unofficial parking. As this is clearly defying 1) the institutional parking system (since we’re choosing not to purchase a parking pass), 2) defying the parking rules (deliberately overstaying for a full work day), and 3) defying social norms (since one shouldn’t do things that are against the rules), I am referring to this as the “Rebellion” parking plan. Sure, I some times still take advantage of some nearby legal (all-day) parking when available and convenient (and during the times I suspect the city would ticket me)… I just don’t necessarily hesitate in routinely using other parking options as well.

Well. Taking into account the costs of paying those parking tickets divided by the number of months of parking I’ve now done (and kept track of), as of typing this original post (1/23/2024), there is a 5-to-6-fold difference in the cost of the Rebellion plan versus the next two official on-campus permitted parking options.

… does this count as a life hack?