In Everett, a daily dance to dodge parking tickets

You may remember Brazil’s greatest export, the Lambada, the steamy dance that opened our eyes to pelvic thrusts and thong underwear. It was so hot in the early ‘90s that it was banned in its home country; so hot that it spawned not one, but two competing big-budget movies, “Lambada” and “The Forbidden Dance.

In downtown Everett, we have our own Forbidden Dance, and like the Lambada, it’s leaving everyone all worked up but totally unsatisfied. It’s the dance of the cars, a daily ballet of drivers hopping from one 90-minute spot to another to avoid parking tickets.

It’s forbidden because, as Julie Muhlstein wrote in a recent column, drivers are technically not allowed to repark in another space in Everett’s downtown core between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. The rule is intended to stop downtown workers from hogging the good spots all day, but there are more loopholes in it than there are plot holes in early 1990s dance movies. For example, drivers are allowed to move to another parking spot if they’re shopping at different businesses. If parking enforcement officers watched us closely enough to know where we’re going, we’d all be pretty freaked out.

  • So we have a rule that is hard to enforce, and an alternative – parking meters – that is hard to swallow. In our latest poll at, we asked what you would do about it.
  • 48 percent said to simply stop ticketing people for reparking. There’s no shame in admitting defeat and letting the cars roam freely. Unfortunately, that also means fewer places to park.
  • 34 percent favored bringing in parking meters. This would be fair for everyone, but it’s never fun to pay for something that was heretofore free.
  • And 18 percent said to leave things as they are. In light of the alternatives, we might as well keep on dancing.

— Doug Parry,; @parryracer

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