Lisa Foreman works in D.C. and has gotten enough parking tickets to know to check the signs diligently.  So she was surprised to find a $100 ticket on her car one day after conducting some business at the courthouse.

She double-checked the “2-hour parking” sign, then checked her watch.  She’d only been parked there 90 minutes.

She didn’t know there was another sign on the block prohibiting parking between 4 and 6:30 pm.  That’s the one the officer was looking at when she ticketed Lisa’s car.

WTOP Ticketbuster investigated and found 6 parking signs around the block in question.  Two signs say you can’t park between 4 and 6:30, and four say you can.  At one spot, contradicting signs are right next to each other.

This is a problem.

“It’s up to the government, if it’s going to enforce the rules, to make the signs not conflicting,” declares D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh. “The driver can’t be expected, if there’s a conflict, to parse which one they should follow.”

It’s “mass confusion,” says Lisa Foreman. “I don’t know how DDOT expects drivers to understand the rules, if it can’t even get the signs right.”

Once the error was publicized, the signs were corrected within 10 days.  Needless to say, Foreman is contesting her ticket.

Complex parking rules aside, there’s certainly some incompetence going on at the DDOT.  Did the officer even notice the conflicting signs?  Why didn’t she report it to her supervisor instead of writing a ticket?  Why do the signs conflict in the first place?

As Mark Meckler recently said, “If government did what it was supposed to do, it might be relatively good at its jobs.

Read more about the story and watch videos of the investigation here.