In these lean times, $52 will still buy a dinner for two, a dozen roses, a bottle of French champagne or an illegal parking space around Camden Yards.
Starting on Opening Day, the city public works department plans to aggressively enforce parking restrictions around the new ballpark during games, and those scofflaws who break the law will earn themselves a $52 citation and a free tow.
Most of the residential areas within walking distance of the stadium are posted tow-away zones with a one- or two-hour limit on parking without a permit.
In addition, the city will put rush-hour rules in effect throughout most of the downtown before and after games. That means little meter parking will be available.
As many as a half-dozen of the city's 24 tow trucks are expected to be on the prowl during baseball games. Violators will be towed to the 800-1000 block of Key Highway with the ticket left on their windshields.
The good news is that their cars will not be impounded during games, sparing violators the normal $51 towing fee.
"We're going to pay special attention to those areas with residential permit parking," said Fred Raynor, superintendent of
abandoned vehicles. "The citizens who live in those communities are -- and I don't want to use the word paranoid -- but they're very concerned about parking conditions, and they have a right to be."
The most restrictive residential parking areas will be in effect in Federal Hill, Federal Hill South, Otterbein and Ridgely's Delight. From April to October, those communities limit parking to one hour between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Communities with a two-hour limit most days include Barre Circle, Bolton Hill, 200 East Eager, Hollins Hill, Seton Hill and Tyson Street.