Ask The Parking Ticket Geek 3/16/09
Dear Mr. Geek,
I just noticed the other day that a line of meters I frequently park at, went from being the cheapest in the city (one quarter per hour, max 2 hours) suddenly up to a dollar an hour!
What’s up with this?
It still says zone 6, but there is a new label on the meter with the new price. WTF?
I’m not paying that much to park there! Is there anyway I can argue or protest the increase?
Tricia in Edgewater
What boulder have you been sleeping under the past six months?
The parking meter lease deal and increased rates is almost all we’ve talked about here since November. Plus, it’s been all over the newspapers, radio and television.
It’s definitely too late. Done deal. Sign, sealed, delivered. Game over.
Call your alderman if you like, but fat lot of good that will do.
Here’s the lowdown on the parking meter lease deal. Check it out.
Hi Parking Ticket Geek-
A friend of mine received a parking ticket for having his car parked in a handicap parking spot on a residential street.
The problem is , the front end of his car was a few inches passed the parking pole. The owner of the handicap spot was still able to park their car in the space without any difficulties.
Is there a way he can appeal this ticket without having any proof to show how the car was actually parked?
A Friend of a Friend
Dear Friend of a Friend,
Oooh. A tough one. It sounds like some ticket writer had a bug up their butt on this one.
Technically, you were in violation, but to be ticketed for a few inches past the sign post…seems a bit over the top–especially since the correct car was not prevented from parking in their spot.
If you know the owner of the handicapped spot, you should ask them to write you a note on your friend’s behalf. Ask them to attest to the fact that their car was not in their handicapped spot and, their car, the one with the handicapped permit, was parked in the spot at the time.
If you can, have them get it notarized at a Currency Exchange so the letter can be considered sworn testimony. Your testimony can be admitted as well. Write something up backing up your friend’s story and have it notarized.
VERY IMPORTANT!: Don’t admit the car was even a few inches into the handicapped spot. This is an admission of guilt. Just say the bumper of the car was right up to the sign post–not beyond.
Hopefully this will do the trick.
The Parking Ticket Geek
From that company SERCO that hires people to just give out tickets without looking to even see if this is zoned parking. I got the ticket in on the west side of the street on 1452 Mohawk, and I know that there are no signs and I know north of Blackhawk on the 1300 block of Mohawk is zoned but not south of Blackhawk on Mohawk.
I called the alderman and they said yes that I was right but wouldn’t help me at all in fighting this ticket, and I’ve had no good luck when sending in by mail to contest a ticket, can you help.
This is a good one. I get an average of one complaint about SERCO per week. They don’t seem to be that well trained.
But, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
First, contact the alderman’s office again and see, no, insist that someone from their office, write a letter on your behalf supporting your contention that the address in question is not zoned for residential parking.
In addition, residential zoned parking is a matter of record and is written into the municipal code. Ask the alderman’s office for a copy of all residential parking zones, including addresses and maps if possible,of these zones.
Be polite but persistewnt. The alderman’s office is thereto help you, the constituent. If they don’t help, tell me and I’ll get on the phone with them.
Second, I would make a Freedom of Information Act request via e-mail tothe Chicago Dept. of Transportation’s (CDOT) Freedom of Information division asking them if a sign or signs for residential permit parking exists at the address in question.
The e-mail address is: email@example.com
Third, I would take photos of the block in question, demonstrating it’s not zoned for residential permit parking.
I would not fight this by mail. I would request an in-person hearing. Ithink your chances are better doing it this way.
Let me tell you.
If you walk into your hearing with a letter from the alderman, proof fromthe Chicago Dept. of Transportation, copies of the municipal code defining residential permit parking in that ward and photos, you cannot possibly lose.
Good luck, keep us posted.
Dear Parking Ticket Geek,
I am one of many Chicago residents to receive a ticket for parking too close to a stop sign. My situation is a little different from most of the others. I was parked on the opposite side of the street from the sign.
The photos document this.
I checked with the Deputy Director of the Department of Revenue and he says the law only restricts parking too close on the same side of the street as the sign. I have requested a in-person hearing to contest the ticket.
What a waste of time. The parking enforcement officers need better training. Maybe the city is just trying to increase revenue.
Good work investigating your violation.
You are absolutely correct. You cannot be ticketed for being on the side of the street opposite of where the stop sign is posted. It’s perfectly legal to park there. Here’s the municipal code:
9-64-100 Parking prohibited
It shall be unlawful to park any vehicle in any of the following places:
(g) Within 30 feet of an official traffic signal or stop sign on the approaching side;
You should be angry that the people who are hired to enforce the parking laws, actually don’t understand the laws they are allegedly trained to uphold and enforce.
Anytime a dimwit like me or a intelligent layperson, untrained in the minutiae of parking laws, understand the laws than the enforcement person, you know things are screwed up.
I’m just glad you’re fighting back. Just keep us posted.
Ask The Parking Ticket Geek is a weekly parking ticket advise column here at The Expired Meter.
If you have a question for The Parking Ticket Geek, please e-mail the Geek with your query at: firstname.lastname@example.org