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Category Archives: Ask The Geek

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: The Parking Lot ‘Parking Ticket’

Ben shows off a "parking ticket" he received at an LAZ Parking lot in Lincoln Park.

Ben shows off a “parking ticket” he received at an LAZ Parking lot in Lincoln Park.

Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

Last Friday I paid for parking in an uncovered lot managed by LAZ Parking at the corner of Weed Street and North Fremont Street from 7:55 p.m. until 4 a.m. The machine asked me to type the last three characters of my license plate.

When the receipt printed, it did not have any written explanation of where to place it. In fact, it didn’t even say to display it, and neither did the machine that printed the ticket. I assumed this must be why I had to key in my last three characters of my plate.

So I simply put the receipt in my wallet and headed off.

How wrong I was!

When I returned to the lot before 4 a.m., I found a ticket for $50. I contested this ticket with an email that included a photo of both my ticket and the receipt. They responded to my email in legalese saying I still have to pay the parking ticket, but they’ll reduce it to $30.

Am I really liable?

Ben

Read more at DNA Info.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: The Snow Covered Hydrant Caper

Katie and the fire hydrant

Where’s the fire hydrant? Katie points out the fire hydrant covered with snow where she was issued a parking ticket.

Hey Geek,

I received a ticket for blocking a fire hydrant.

But I parked there one evening because the snow was so high that the hydrant and the yellow curb were not visible.

Is there a way to contest this?

Katie

Most of us are exasperated with the tremendous amount of snow in the city this winter, Katie.

But would you have ever thought that in this instance, the snow actually works to your advantage in fighting this parking ticket?

Read more at DNA Info Chicago
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Ask the Parking Ticket Geek: The Case of the Mixed-Up License Plates

 Maureen stands in front of her vehicle in a suburban parking lot showing off the letter from the city dismissing her ticket. Inset: A photo from the city's website shows the license plate of the vehicle should have received the ticket she was issued.


Maureen stands in front of her vehicle in a suburban parking lot showing off the letter from the city dismissing her ticket. Inset: A photo from the city’s website shows the license plate of the vehicle should have received the ticket she was issued.

One of our readers reached out to us with an interesting situation.

Maureen received a letter from the city claiming her car was parked in the city in violation of rush-hour parking restrictions and she needed to cough up the $60 fine.

The problem was, on the date and time in question, she said her car was parked in the lot where she works in west suburban Naperville.

While the violation notice was issued to her vehicle, the photo in the notice was of another license plate on the same make of vehicle and same expiration date, but the plate was off by a single digit.

Maureen contested the ticket by mail and was quite surprised when the administrative law judge upheld the violation.

She was angry and confused when she got the letter from the city informing her she was still responsible for the ticket — so she emailed “Ask the Parking Ticket Geek.”

Read more at DNA Info.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: Why Can’t I Park Near A Crosswalk?

Crosswalk confusion

Tedd stands near the Lincoln Park crosswalk on Halsted Street where his car was improperly ticketed.

Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

I received a ticket in a spot in Lincoln Park that I have parked in at least 30 times with no problem. It is on the end of a block, near a crosswalk, without a sign restricting parking.

But the ticket says it’s for “Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk.”

If this is really true, it would eliminate thousands of spots that Chicagoans use every day. Think I can beat it? 

Tedd

Rest assured Tedd, you were parked perfectly legally.

Read the rest at DNA Info Chicago.

If you have a parking ticket question for The Parking Ticket Geek, email your query to: askthegeek (at) theexpiredmeter.com

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: In-Person Vs. Contesting By Mail

Andy leans against the hood of his car that clearly has a front license plate.

Dear PTG,

I received a ticket for municipal code violation 9-76-160A (Rear and front license plates required).

But both plates were on the vehicle. I contested by mail and enclosed pictures showing both plates attached.

I was just notified in the mail that the ticket was upheld.

What more can I do at an appeal to the Circuit Court of Cook County? Is it worth it?

Andy

Andy: Unfortunately, this is an example of why I frown on contesting parking tickets by mail.

Read more at DNA Info.

Got a question about a parking ticket or driving in Chicago? E-mail the Parking Ticket Geek at: askthegeek (at) theexpiredmeter.com

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek: What Happened To My ‘Free’ Sunday Parking?

Mindy gives her nemesis, the parking meter paybox a hug despite getting an expired meter ticket last Sunday.

Dear Geek,

On Sunday I parked on Halsted Street between Division and North Avenue.

As I was returning to my car, I noticed tickets on most of the cars and yes, there was one on mine. I’m a stickler for making sure I’m parked in nonrestricted areas and pay the meter, even if I’m going to be gone for 5 minutes.

The reason I didn’t pay the meter yesterday is because it was Sunday. I thought all meters were free on Sunday. There should be a visible sign posted indicating parking must be paid on Sundays. Right?

What are my chances of getting this dismissed if I contest it?

Mindy

Sorry Mindy, unfortunately there’s no such thing as “free Sunday parking” in that part of Lincoln Park.

Read the rest of the answer at DNA Info Chicago.

If you have a question about parking, speed camera, or red light camera tickets or driving in the city, e-mail the Parking Ticket Geek at: info@theexpiredmeter.com

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Tim stands next to the Chicago city sticker from last year that's giving him parking ticket grief. He promised to remove it immediately.

Dear Mr. Geek,

At the start of June, I moved from Chicago back to Skokie.

I obviously did not renew my expiring Chicago city sticker since I was moving out of the city. Instead, I got my Skokie city sticker about a week after I moved.

Yesterday I got a ticket at a metered spot for “NO DISPLAYED CITY STICKER.”

I’m quite confused, because I’m not a Chicago resident, and I have a valid Skokie sticker displayed on my windshield.

I really can’t afford to pay a $200 ticket!

Tim

P.S. My car still has my old Chicago city sticker still displayed. Does that make a difference?

Tim:

Last year’s Chicago city sticker is the problem.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

If you have a parking ticket question for The Parking Ticket Geek, email your query to: askthegeek@theexpiredmeter.com.

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Mike Stephen from Outside the Loop Radio sits atop his nemesis--the fire hydrant.

Hey Geek,

A few weeks ago my dad had cataract surgery Downtown. I had his car and picked him up outside on Wabash. I pulled in front of a fire hydrant but stayed in the car with the engine running. The nurses and my mom brought my dad down in a wheelchair, got him into the car, and I drove them home.

He got a ticket in the mail for a hydrant parking violation. I guess there must have been a parking meter employee who walked by and took a picture of the car in front of the hydrant.

He’s planning on contesting it by including documentation from the eye place that he had surgery. He also has handicapped plates and included the handicapped placard as part of his case. Anything else he should do?

Mike

Hey Mike, most ticket writers or police officers would have given an illegally parked driver a heads-up and told him to move his vehicle before writing a ticket. But the person who issued your ticket didn’t, and then didn’t even have the nerve to hand you the ticket.

But here’s the good news: you were not parked illegally.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Got a parking ticket or driving question for The Parking Ticket Geek? Please email your question to: askthegeek@theexpiredmeter.com

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Hi Geek,

Yesterday, I received a ticket for parking during rush hour on a street where parking is not allowed from 4-6pm.

Clearly my fault.

However, the officer who issued the ticket forgot to mark which state my license plate was from, which is Wisconsin.

Can I use this mistake to get out of the ticket? Please let me know if there is any hope for me.

Thanks!

Ramsey

Dude,

You totally dodged a bullet on this one…

Cops Accused Of Bogus Tickets Push Back At Hearing

We didn’t do it.

Someone else wrote those parking tickets.

That’s what two Chicago police officers, accused of writing some of the 24 bogus parking tickets issued to motorist Mark Geinosky, contended in their police board hearings earlier this week.

In other words, according to the Chicago Tribune, the two officers became victims of the same scam that targeted Geinosky when another officer or officers stole a handful of tickets from their ticket books to harass Geinosky.