Motorcycles Parking Legally, Still Getting Ticketed

Follow the signs.

That’s what the city always tells driver. As long as you obey the signs when you park, you won’t get ticketed.

But tell that to motorcycle rider Loreen Targos.

Targos was spotlighted in the Chicago Tribune for the 38 tickets slapped on her motorcycle over the summer while parking in legal spots downtown.

Many downtown motorcycle and scooter riders find tiny, but legal parking spots which are outside of the metered parking zones but not in tow zones or other restricted parking spots. These parking loopholes are too small for a car most of the time, but motorcycles and scooters can squeeze in just fine.

This let’s these savvy motorcycle riders avoid paying the exorbitant prices of the downtown parking meters–and it’s not a violation of the law.

But despite being parked legally, she’s still be getting ticketed for such violations as “parking outside the designated area,” and others.

Luckily, Targos likes to fight back and has prevailed in every one of the 14 tickets she has contested so far.

She’s even tried taping copies of the decisions from her administrative hearings dismissing her tickets to her bike, but to no avail–the tickets kept on coming.

So after Chicago Police officers began stepping up enforcement and she was involved in a verbal disagreement with a pair cops who didn’t understand the law, she decided to reach out to the Tribune’s Problem Solver, Jon Yates, to see if he could help straighten out the city.

Yates tried to talk to Department of Finance, but they told him to talk to CPD. Not surprisingly, no one in the city would answer his questions.

Sadly, unlike city Parking Enforcement Aides, many Chicago Police officers do not have a solid grasp of parking regulations. Most cops carry parking ticket books, but because they generally don’t write a lot of tickets and have little training on the finer points parking regulations, they often issue erroneous parking violations.

With the Tribune throwing a bright light on this overzealous enforcement, the media attention maybe a double edged sword. It is more than possible that these free parking spots for motorcycles may just disappear if the city adjusts the signage to close up these parking loopholes.

Here’s the Tribune’s full story, “Problem Solver: Motorcyclist received 38 tickets in legal parking spot.”

7 Responses to Motorcycles Parking Legally, Still Getting Ticketed

  1. DoR Employee says:

    I have been waiting for something like this story to break on this topic.

    The Admin Notice shown in the Tribune Video is for a dismissal of “No Parking/Standing Anytime.” And any cop with Half a Cranium should know better than to issue for that if there are no signs. The Other biggie they like to write is “Outside of Metered space” but since there are no lines on the ground that designate the metered space, and the city has not yet amended the ordinance to include paybox signs to be the beginning/end of the space, you can not legally write it outside of a City Pay Lot.

    Now there is a loop parking restriction…but you can only issue that between 6am and 6pm Mon-Fri (no holidays and not on weekends).

    The CPD should not be allowed to write parking tickets anymore.

  2. Dona Reale says:

    Shame on these cops for their lack of understanding of the law and not knowing well when to issue a ticket or not! Good job on Largos for fighting back.

  3. MRL says:

    I’ve had this happen to me a number of times. The most frequent was a ticket that I’d get parked behind the library on Plymouth Court. It was a “loop parking” violation — one that prohibits parking in the loop on weekdays but not weekends (i.e., how you can park on Wacker on the weekend) — the only problem: Plymouth Court wasn’t one of the streets listed!!

    I got about a dozen of those. I’ve also had the “parking outside of a designated space,” which I twice successfully fought — once needing a hearing. I told the Administrative Law Judge “I was parked outside of a metered space . . . THAT WAS EXACTLY THE POINT.” He tossed it.

    When is this harassment going to stop? I don’t hear similar stories of cars getting COMPLETELY BOGUS tickets. What gives?

  4. DoR Employee says:

    What gives MRL is the simple fact that the CPD write tickets they know can’t stand up to review on Purpose.

    They write them to turn in to show “activity” in Districts that have Zero Crime during their shift that they actually want to fight.

  5. Pete says:

    Is the CPD so incompetent that bogus tickets are counted towards an officer’s “activity”? I would think they would be penalized for too many overturned tickets. Then again, most people who receive a bullshit ticket don’t even bother to contest it.

    It would be nice if the officers in the nice parts of town would refrain from writing tickets altogether and harass the beggars instead.

  6. Capt M-Plate says:

    Pete…the answer (though a rhetorical question) is YES.

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