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Stockton is not a visitor-friendly city
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

The question is often asked of cities: Are they visitor friendly? The same question can be asked about Stockton.

It is very interesting that when I made the comments about a letter to the editor over a parking ticket, the entire crowd in the lobby of the police station cheered.  I can speak as one who is not just visiting Stockton because being 70 years old and on limited income, I was applying for food stamps when I got a $185 parking ticket.  The violations were $74 for  parking 6 to 9 inches over the little white square and $111 for no front license plate.  (The license plate was not on the front because there is no place for it on the car which I bought recently in Tracy.)

So as one who is in financial difficulties, parked in the area were people go to get financial aid, the parking enforcement officer used their discretion and wrote the ticket. I wonder how many days in jail one must spend for a $185 ticket?

My experience with the Stockton parking enforcement is more extensive than this one and last visit to Stockton.  I have been a courier in the Stockton area for five years and have seen repeated the problems of parking in downtown Stockton. I was cited once for parking a company vehicle in a yellow zone for six minutes because while the car clearly had the company name painted on the door on each side and the company had been doing business in Stockton for 12 years, the vehicle did not have a commercial plate. That ticket was for $74.  Yellow zone parking is for commercially licensed vehicles only the meter person told me. The one thing she could explain is why so many times I could not park there because private vehicles were parked there while people went in to pay their taxes.

Many of the downtown meters only take quarters good for a 30-minute stay. Most courier deliveries last between 5 to 10 minutes. Considering this courier made 8 to 12 stops a day in downtown Stockton for five years it is easy to see why this is one person who says in plain English Stockton is not visitor friendly. Maybe that’s why so many cheered when I said I would write a letter to the editor.

Jerry Johnson
Aug. 15, 2011