Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog from Ann

More This n’ That
Judy is correct, May flew by like the wind and before I submitted a request for an “administrate hearing” for the parking ticket n’ tow. Here’s a brief summary:

As explained in the attached request form, I received a illegal parking ticket and my car/jeep was towed from the 200 block of Court Ave. **Note the ticket says 200 block but the tow ticket says 300 block.

I was the 10th car parked on the 200 block of Court Ave (north side, furthest parking west parking spot). When I parked, I did not see a “no parking sign Friday and Saturday, nor did I see a Tow Sign” on the meter or in front or behind the parking spot. Since there were 9 other cars, I assumed the red parking sack was for the farmers’ market as the whole block had the sacks on the meter.
I attended a live show at People’s Court and when I came out at 11 pm, to my SHOCK, my car along with the other 9 cars were gone. No vehicles were parked there. I asked the officer “where are the cars that was parked here, my car was right here, he said “after 9 pm, it’s a no parking/tow zone so the Party Busses could park/drop off”. I was still in shock since there were no immediate sign in front or to the rear of where I parked. The officer said “it’s midway in the block, up high”. He said all 10 cars were ticketed and 5 were towed.

Again still in shock when I asked how to get my car, he said I would have to go to the police station, pay to get the paperwork ($20) then go to the impound lot ($60) not to mention the $15 ticket. I asked if the station was open and he said no, it opens up at 7 am.
So there I was, alone, without my car, unable to get it for 8 hours and I live in Ankeny. I had to find a ride, stay in Des Moines, went to the station at 0800 only to find out they “towed 5 cars and he says it happens every weekend, people like you who come down for a show, not been on Court Ave, get towed”.

My Appeal is based on the following:
1. Why the block is a “no-parking” block from 6 pm to 3 am on a Friday-Saturday night? Does the Party Busses have priority parking? Are there no other spots for the Busses to park? What kind of message does this say that Party Busses have more rights than the average citizen?
2. Signage, do you really think I or someone else would purposely park in a “no-parking/tow zone”? There should be, at the minimums signage at the beginning, middle and the end of the block.  If cars are routinely ticketed and towed every weekend, does it not beg the City to clearly put up more signs, maybe attached to each meter? Does the City want to help the citizen have a good taste of Court Ave versus a ticket and a tow?
3. What does the City think of how the citizen is to get home and get their car? Can you imagine, coming out looking for your car and finding out it was towed, no way to get home or get back to town to get the car? Do you not think maybe the citizen has a place to be either after their evening or in the early morning?
Additionally, I don’t understand the ordinance 114-361.15. Please help me understand what I was ticketed and towed for. I walked all over Court Ave, downtown, around the Federal/Court House and Police Station and I find no “special no-parking zone during special hours and I found NO tow-bans in the same area”. Again, I am stumped and mortified that the City Council approved a special “no-parking/tow zone for Party Busses”.

 I will keep you posted on the outcome of the hearing. Remember, it only took one person to expose the City of Des Moines illegal utility tax (they now owe 40 million dollars). Maybe I can be that one person to expose this “tow trap”. Gotta Run!

Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

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