Misdemeanor or act of kindness?

Ever pull up next to someone TMs vehicle only to realize that their parking meter has expired? Perhaps you have even helped them out by feeding their meter so they don't get a parking ticket. If you have, you are guilty of two things; an act of kindness and a misdemeanor.

In Traverse City, there is an ordinance that states you should not put money in someone else TMs parking meter. If you are caught doing so, you face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of $100.

Drivers we spoke with were unaware that this rule exists. They were also unhappy to learn they can not help their fellow man without getting in trouble.

I think it is a little silly. I don't really think there is a reason we shouldn't be able to help people out, said Alexis Palmquist.

Traverse City Parking Administrator Dave Malewitz told 7&4 News the ordinance exists to prevent people from abusing city meters TM two hour time limit and to promote traffic turnover in town.

It's a very nice citizen gesture to help out other citizens and giving them extra time, but we go back to the ordinance...where the person parking there is legally responsible and they paid for the time...if that person by chance gets a ticket it is their responsibility not another person putting money in, Malewitz said.

Do you think feeding a stranger's meter should be a crime? Tell us "Your Point of View" by taking part in the poll below and leaving your comments.

Since this story was posted on UpNorthLive, we have seen a tremendous response from our viewers. Here are some comments:

Kristen Hains said "How exactly is this enforced/policed? If you're caught putting money in any meter do you have to produce your driver's license and proof of registration to prove that you are feeding your own meter? Does this happen that often that this is an issue that has to be addressed? I find that kind of hard to believe."

Krista M Nichols said "Dislike...Turnover is good but parking tickets make tourist think twice about coming back to downtown. If the meter is fed then the city is making money. Win win I say, don't punish someone for being kind."

Dana M MacArthur said "If I owned a downtown business I'd definitely be lobbying against this. This does nothing to enhance your downtown area and someone putting coins in some random meter certainly doesn't hurt business. The local government should be ashamed of itself."

Join the conversation on the UpNorthLive Facebook Fan page.

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