Reader mail: Towed away
Here we have a reader who dealt with the whole ticket/towing/storage fiasco. She ultimately got the case dismissed, but was still liable for the “storage fees”. Do you think that’s appropriate?
Tortuous Towing Tactics
I just finished going through the court process of fighting a ticket and towing. Supposedly I parked in an emergency no parking zone on Monroe between 7th and 8th (in front of the Monroe Center), but the signs weren’t posted or had been pulled down. (I parked on Halloween, a Tuesday night, and the signs had been posted on the Saturday before with no reposting listed.) After going back and finding my car was towed, I fought the ticket. I went to court on two separate occassions. On the second visit, I went before the judge and without saying a word my case was dismissed and my towing fees were to be reimbursed.
Here’s the kicker–towing fees are reimbursed but storage is not. I only learned this after filling out the paperwork. How can such a process exist? Basically your car can be towed and ticketed unfairly, but no matter what, you get stuck with the storage fees for Mile Square Towing. My car was stored from Thursday to Friday and it cost me $50. What is the deal with this?
Loyal Hoboken411 reader
Also: Read this related letter sent to the Hoboken Reporter in July of 2006. Similar issues and more parking complaints:
The articles in your July 22nd issue about the ill-fated robotic parking garage as well as the parking officers suspended for ticketing the “politically connected” only proves that the Hoboken Parking Utility is in serious need of reform. However, there are additional parking issues that should be addressed: the excessive towing fees for illegally-parked cars, the inconvenience posed by temporary paper No-Parking signs, and the serious need for additional white parking lines to be painted. The citizens of today’s Hoboken should not stand by and let the HPU play the same games anymore at our expense.
Problem 1: Towing Fees. Mile Square Towing is contracted by the city to tow cars that are illegally parked. They charge an incredulous $80 towing fee as well as $25 per day for storage. This is unreasonable, since they don’t notify the car owner after towing but expect them to guess. Their customer service and storage area are substandard at best. It would be of interest to know what kind of contractual relationship they have with the city. And what happens if they cause vehicle damage during towing, as that robotic garage did when those cars fell down and got destroyed!
Problem 2: Paper white ‘temporary no parking’ signs that pop up everywhere. Sometimes they are put on trees, are partially obscured, or are not put up enough time in advance to warn people adequately. Just what are the regulations on use of these signs, and why does it seem that every construction project in town is using them to take up valuable sidewalk space for their trucks? Example: you park your Mercedes in a legal spot, go out of town for two days, and you return to find a white no-parking sign and your car is gone, only to make way for a flatbed cement truck!
Problem 3: Parking Lines. It would be helpful to get new white lines painted on many sidewalks to better indicate the legal parking range for cars, as well as to paint white dividing lines at diagonal parking areas so as to increase the available number of spots. Often many cars parking diagonally take up two spots because there are no dividing lines, and it is difficult to gauge a proper separation between cars.
A group of citizens should organize a committee to discuss parking issues and proper solutions to the city council. Most committees in City Hall are politically appointed, so we need new ideas to come from outside the political spectrum because the problems cannot be solved by more empty election promises. Anyone interested in forming such a group can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org