My recent $70 downtown Portland parking experience puts an exclamation point on Rosemary De Angelis’ letter about her three $30 parking tickets (“Portland’s parking rules crazy, hostile, unyielding,” April 14).

I rarely venture into Portland because of the woefully inadequate parking situation, but I had to attend an evening meeting. There were no garages near the location, so I circled a two-block area searching for a space to leave my small car.

After 10 frustrating minutes (every time I saw an opening, there was a “no parking” sign beside it), I pulled into a public parking lot. The big blue “P” on the sign made me think that this was a city lot, and since it was after 6 p.m., I didn’t prepay for the privilege of leaving my car there.

When I returned a half hour later, there was a yellow boot on my rear wheel. I have no outstanding tickets and had no idea what to do, so I called 911 and a sympathetic dispatcher checked my record and confirmed that the city had no reason to boot my car.

Just then a van with a parking company’s name on it pulled up, and I was told that the “P” on the public parking sign actually meant “private” and the representative of Unified Parking Partners, which owns the lot, would take the boot off for $70. I had no choice but to pay it.

I discovered that Unified Parking Partners runs many lots in Portland, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to find a yellow boot on their vehicle. This company’s signage should make it absolutely clear that it’s a private company’s lot and payment must be made 24 hours a day. I learned an expensive lesson and, like Ms. De Angelis, will take my business to more consumer-friendly places.

Harriet Schultz