Ask The Parking Ticket Geek – 1/19/09
Hello Dear PT-Geek,
Thank you for all the time you put into your website; as a new resident to the City
of Chicago your “Welcome Guide” saved my wallet! I wish they’d buy a license from
you and print a booklet for new residents.
I have a question about your recent post on the “abandoned vehicle” rule, which
states that any vehicle parked in one spot for more than 7 days can be ticketed.
My car has been parked in the same spot for about two days now. I recently went out to check up on my car, as you’re supposed to do in the winter, to make sure it’s still
functioning. I wasn’t planning on driving anywhere, just checking on it.
I’m glad I didn’t need to go anywhere, because the snow plow packed a huge snow bank next to and under the car. That in and of itself is not such a big problem; I’ve had to dig the car out multiple times. The real problem I was facing was that the snow under the car had frozen to ice and actually glued my car to the road.
Would the abandonment rule still apply to cars that have been “frozen stuck” to the road? And if it does, would the City of Chicago actually tow my car? Because if they did, they’d probably leave half of the chassis behind in the process.
Obviously I have some time before my car’s been in the same spot for a week, so I’m
hoping temperatures will rise enough to thaw it out. But I’m still curious if there’s a special provision for “temporarily immobilized” vehicles.
Thanks so much!
Mark & Frosty the Snowed-in-Car
Thank you for the kind note.
From my review of the municipal code, I see no provision for “temporarily immobilized” vehicles.
Although, one could make a case that your car in it’s presently popsicle-like state, could be considered a “disabled” vehicle. But that’s kind of a stretch because you’re not obstructing traffic. Even so, it sounds from your description, a tow truck might have a problem liberating your car from the glacier in which it is entombed.
The good news is that the weather is warming up and your car should have thawed out by now.
If not, I’m told taking a leak on compacted ice does wonders to melt it quickly. While of course disgusting, the hot liquid with a high salt content works fast. A case of beer shared among a few friends, in short time, Presto!, melted ice.
The other good news is that while the law technically dictates that cars must be moved every seven days or can be considered abandoned, in practice, this law is not enforced very rigorously.
As an example, there’s a car in front of my house that has been in the same spot for at least a month. Cops and PEAs normally don’t look for this type of violation unless a vehicle is in obvious disrepair or is missing license plates or tires, broken windows, bums sleeping inside, etc.
Otherwise, most abandoned vehicle tickets are issued because someone complained to the alderman about an abandoned vehicle.
So, if you keep the snow off your car while your car is frozen to the street, you should be OK until the weather warms.
Thanks for the question and good luck with your car Mr. Shackelton.
Hello Parking Geek.
Quick question, (with the new parking meter lease deal) can I still park for free at a parking meter with my handicapped placard ?
I can’t find an answer.
Not to worry John.
While this parking meter lease deal is a little overwhelming and confusing, this change in control of the meters has not meant a change in the ordinance allowing handicapped parking at parking meters. Here’s the law:
9-64-010 Applicability – Exemptions.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of the traffic code, any motor vehicle bearing handicapped or disabled veterans state registration plates or a handicapped parking decal or device issued pursuant to Section 3-616 or 11-1301.2 of the Illinois Vehicle Code and any motor vehicle registered in another jurisdiction, state, district, territory or foreign country upon which is displayed a registration, special decal or device issued by such other jurisdiction designating the vehicle is operated by or for a handicapped person is hereby exempt from the payment of parking meter fees and exempt from any ordinance or regulation which imposes a time limitation for parking….
I think if Mayor Daley and the Chicago City Council tried to slip a change to the municipal code that took this privilege away from the handicapped, there would have been political hell to pay. Those guys aren’t that stupid.
So don’t worry, John. Your handicapped placard still gets you that free rock star parking at any parking meter in Chicago.
The Parking Ticket Geek
I just bought a Smart Car which is perfect for the city.
In Europe, you see them parked perpendicular to the street in very tight spots. Is this legal in Chicago? I’m afraid of doing it an finding an expensive ticket on my car.
I did a bit of checking, and it seems that many Smart Car owners, despite the namesake car they own, are not very smart and try to park perpendicular to the curb surprisingly often. I think it’s a lame attempt to pick up girls, by showing off how small a space they can shoe horn their politically correct cars into.
I must be getting old, because it used to be, dudes with penis size issues, would buy a muscle car or a Hummer. Now, it seems, one proves the size of their penis by having the smallest car or the car with the highest MPG. But I digress.
I have also read a lot about people trying to fit their Smart Car along with another vehicle, into a single metered space–which is a topic for another discussion.
In Chicago, the law is that ALL vehicles, except for scooters and motorcycles, must be parked parallel to the curb.
Here’s the municipal code.
9-64-020 Parallel parking – Obstruction of traffic.
(a) It shall be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle, except for a motorcycle or motor scooter, in a roadway other than parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of lawful traffic movement and with the curbside wheels of the vehicle within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the roadway; provided, however, this prohibition shall not apply to the parking of any vehicle in a designated diagonal parking zone or space.
I understand and appreciate your creative thinking, but we live in the United States of America, NOT Europe. Don’t those goofs across the Atlantic drive on the wrong side of the road too? Idiots!
Parallel park in Chicago and you won’t get a ticket.
Very truly yours,
Ask The Parking Ticket Geek is a weekly parking ticket advise column here at The Expired Meter.
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