Ask The Parking Ticket Geek
I was wondering if you can help me.
I’m so tired and angry with the city of Chicago. I hate giving my money to the city of Chicago. I received a meter ticket yesterday because the meter was expired by 7 minutes. Can I beat this ticket?
But the answer is N-O– no.
One minute or seven minutes, if the meter is expired you are eligible for being ticketed.
Yesterday, I got a ticket for being just six minutes late. DOH!
Mayor Daley just recently introduced a proposal to give drivers a five minute meter grace period, but not only has it now been passed yet, you’re still two minutes over the five minutes.
I’m sympathetic, I feel your pain. This has happened to me many times over the years. Basically, tough luck and I think you’re $50 poorer.
I drive a pickup truck and just parked at Midway Airport in the terminal garage.
The area I parked in had red signs that said the following: “Vans & SUV’s Prohibited From Parking In This Area – Violators Will Be Ticketed & Towed”.
Since my vehicle is not classified as either and has B- Truck plates I figured that this would not be an issue. When I returned I had received a ticket for 09-64-150 PARK STAND PROHIBITIED ANY TIME.
I think this is wrong and would never have parked there had they indicated that trucks were also prohibited. What’s your thoughts on contesting?
I would fight it. But then again, I’m a contentious dick.
I have to agree with you. From your description the signage does not prohibit someone from parking a pickup truck there.
I think simply, you state in your letter or at your hearing, your vehicle is not a Van or SUV, and therefore it would not be illegal for your pickup truck to park there.
If it had said “no pickup trucks” or “trucks” you would not have parked there.
The pain in the ass thing is, you’re going to need to provide photos of where you parked and the signs. The signs obviously support your story. In addition, you want to show that other vehicles were permitted to park there and it wasn’t just a tow zone or something where no one was allowed to park.
Fight it! I can’t see how you lose, but this is the first I’ve ever heard a situation where cars were allowed to park and not a van or an SUV. Must have to do with the height of the vehicle. Very odd.
Keep the Geek posted.
Why do the pay stations have two-hour maximum time limits? Why should they care if I want
to pay for lots of time as long as I pay the rate and they get their money why should they care to restrict me to how much I can put into a machine at one time?
Seems like if I were in that business all I would care about how much money I can take in.
Your question is a legitimate one.
On the surface, it is hard to understand why a driver just can’t pay to park indefinitely at a meter. But there are good reasons for time limits.
Let me explain.
Most meters in Chicago have a two hour time limit, although in some areas of the city longer time limits are allowed for a range of different reasons. Three hour limits are common around theaters to allow patrons of the arts to see the entire performance without running out to feed the meter in the middle of some dude in green tights plodding through some dramatic soliloquy. More extended times are given for areas where there’s not a lot of retail businesses so workers can park all day without having to feed the meter every few hours.
But the main reason two hour time limits exist is to promote turnover of drivers aka customers in retail shopping areas. The theory is, if cars are allowed to park all day, other consumers will not be able to find parking spaces to shop in different neighborhoods in the city.
Often, when meter rates are too low, and overstaying is not enforced, employees working in retail areas have little incentive to give up their spots, despite the fact they have to come out every two hours to feed their meter. Thus, without a time limit and the fear that one can be ticketed for overstaying the limit, some drivers never move and customers with money to burn, spend their money elsewhere, where parking spaces can be found.
So, the short answer is, time limits are necessary to for turnover of customers to help businesses generate revenue.
It allows more consumers the ability to park and shop in a retail shopping areas.
That’s the main reason.
Does having the wrong license place expiration date on my parking ticket qualify for getting the ticket thrown out due to lack of establishing a prima facie case?
It’s sort of a stretch since all the other info is correct.
Also, do you think contesting by mail is any less effecting than in person?
From my understanding, while it’s not specifically mentioned in the municipal code, if the wrong expiration date is listed then the ticket is improperly written because technically, it may not be the correct license plate and therefore should be dismissed. This, I agree, is splitting hairs and I’m not 100% confident it will work.
However, to my mind, how does one know this is a legitimate ticket if the ticket writer can’t write down the correct expiration date when it’s right in front of their face? One could make the argument the ticket was manufactured and the ticket writer guessed the expiration date.
Just produce a copy of your Illinois registration at your hearing or if you contest by mail, make this argument and it should get dismissed.
Make sure you try fighting it on any other grounds too, just in case the hearing officer is not fully moved by your strategy to exploit a technicality.
Personally, I like contesting in person, because I have the ability to interact with the hearing officer and answer any questions I may have forgotten to include in a letter. But that’s just me.
Ask The Parking Ticket Geek is a semi-regular parking ticket advice column.
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