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The writer of “Joyride” (4/4), who wisely withheld his (I assume the author is male) name, enjoys a good chuckle at putting one over on the stupid, hidebound D.C. bureaucracy by beating $800 in traffic tickets. Yet I became irritated reading his whiny self-justifications, and was moved

to anger at his glee as he gunned his car out of the impoundment lot, apparently nearly destroying a

gate and striking a security guard.

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The writer and similar scofflaws are one of the many reasons the District—my hometown—is rapidly sinking. Too many people believe they have the right to park anywhere they want, for as long as they want, and then turn their ingenuity to beating the inevitable fines. Here are the writer’s own self-indictments: “Even though I fed the meters, my windshield was slapped with a few pink parking tickets…” Here’s news for you: Feeding the meters does not confer indefinite parking privileges. The posted limits (usually two hours) still apply. The purpose of time limitations is to free spaces for short-term parking, a goal defeated by space-hogs such as this author. And: Several tickets “resulted from my drastic offense of having an expired emissions sticker.” These silly little pieces of sticky paper certify that one’s car is not unduly poisoning the air of Washington, a city deemed by the EPA to be unacceptably polluted. The only hero of the article was the judge who refused to buy the author’s flimsy excuses.

As a result of the author’s scheming, D.C. has been cheated out of funds that could be used to help fix our rutted streets, or repair our crumbling schools, or pay police to keep Mr. X from getting mugged. A hero? I hope he and his car stay in Virginia. If he doesn’t like D.C.’s parking restrictions, he should take Metro.

Mount Pleasant

via the Internet