I wanted to write you about a situation I am currently in the middle of involving parking in the South Loop during the Soldier Field events. From the information I have gathered, there have been many victims of this same misunderstanding.
When I returned home from out of town on Saturday night, I tried parking in my usual permit only area around 14th and State. There were no spots available, so I found one on 14th Place. As we all do, I checked the signs and the only restriction was "No Parking 2 hrs before Soldier Fields Events and 1 hr after except vehicles displaying resident permits". I knew there was a Bears game the next day, but I had a "Residential Permit" clearly displayed in my shield
with the local neighborhood permit area listed on it as well.
I went to leave on Monday night to go to my hockey league and my car was nowhere to be found. I went online and found it at the Sacramento impound lot. I took a cab to the impound lot for $15. At the impound lot, the attendant told me that there has been many people saying they also had the correct permits displayed according to the signs and they too were towed and I can request a hearing to dispute the tow charge. I had to pay $170 to get my car out and hurried on to my hockey game.
On Tuesday, I called the number on my tow stub to schedule my hearing and they told me I was supposed to do that at the impound lot or I could write a letter and wait three weeks for a reply. This perturbed me since I was not offered to schedule a hearing even after complaining about the towing. I was also told that it is not the city that is towing the vehicles but yet another vendor the city has hired and I can take my complaint up to their supervisor.
On a side note, a friend of mine was also towed a few months ago for a Solider Field event and he said there was a line of people there with the same argument then.
I then called Alderman Bob Fioretti's office to explain that there seems that many of their local citizens are being abused by the tow truck operators towing their vehicles despite having the correct permits displayed. The person on the phone explained to me that there is yet another permit (besides the City parking sticker and the neighborhood permit sticker) that you need to have to park during Solider Field events. I said fair enough, but the signs do not say "except vehicles displaying a Soldier Field event permit" but says a "resident permit" of which I (and many others) believed we had. They asked me to bring photos in to show them. Thanks for the proactive help.
So that is where I stand now. I have spent almost $200 to get my car out of impound that was improperly towed in the first place and still have to return to an impound lot to schedule a hearing to argue my case. So it will be weeks before I have a chance to get my money back.
I am curious how many Sloopin readers have been in similar situations with the Soldier Field events parking? I really believe they need to pay attention to the "resident permits" that we have all paid to have to park in the area or else change the signage to require a "Soldier Field event permit".
A Concerned Sloopite
Friday, January 21, 2011
Confused By the Soldier Field Events Parking Restrictions?
Just in time for the final Bears game of the season, a concerned Sloopite details a frustrating and confusing street parking episode:
Personally we haven't had a problem, but we agree these signs are confusing. What do others think?