Citizen complaint of the day: The tow driver can probably read, he just chose not to

My car!

An irate citizen reports from Mt. Ida Road in Dorchester:

This morning I parked under a sign that said I would be towed on the 1st and 3rd Thursday. It is the 4th Thursday. I came out to see my car being pulled onto a flatbed truck. The 'supervisor' driving a public works truck with license plate number MB 2278 said he could not cancel my ticket and that I had to dispute it. He also said "Life isn't perfect". They lowered my car off the flatbed truck and quickly drove away. This is the second time the signs on my street have been wrong. Please fix.

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    Comments

    I wonder how often this stuff happens

    I was walking past a meter where a car was getting a ticket, and the car's owner rushed up, and pointed out that there was still 5 minutes on the meter. The meterman said, "oh, I must have misread it" and tore up the ticket, but if the guy had arrived 4 minutes later he'd have to go through the PITA of fighting it.

    And no, I don't think the meterman misread the meter, he just was doing his scheduled route, and figured that they'd be late, and that he wouldn't be back around before they left, and didn't want to wait for the meter to expire or come back in 5 minutes..

    Happened to me years ago

    I was parked at a meter - returned to a ticket that was dated 15 minutes into the future (from that moment) and a meter that still had 10 minutes on it.

    Somebody was covering for taking an early lunch, no doubt!

    I won the appeal.

    I was towed last year around

    I was towed last year around this time. I was in the wrong - it was a street cleaning. I called both city lots to see where it was, but neither had my car. I had to file a stolen car report and thought that it was gone.

    I got a call 2 weeks later that they "found" my car in a tow lot. The worst part is that I had to fight them to not charge storage fees for two weeks, which equaled about the value of my car. Horrible experience.

    I'm curious

    In my current and past neighborhoods, towing is contracted out (The notorious Frye trucks of Allston/Brighton & the Stanley machine of JP jump to mind). Where do actual public works trucks tow? My curiosity is piqued by what was actually missing from this complaint: the usual extortion offer from the tow driver to lower the car for $50.00. Any neighborhoods besides the Dorchester/Mattapan line? When I lived in Dot I don't remember City of Boston tow trucks, but I was about a mile from where this occurred.

    Thank you

    You are right, I do want to know what neighborhoods are having cars towed by the city, not where said cars are going. However…

    I do wonder about this. I have never owned a car in Boston but have always had friends and housemates who did. I still don't understand how the Frye's Towing drivers in Allston/Brighton could, at least in the 80s-90s, get away with what was basically a racket. Because Allston Street had an odd no-parking pattern that confused the easily confusable, the Frye trucks spent A LOT of time on our block, and really would jack a car up, then rev the tow truck engine to get everyone's attention. Some poor sucker would run out and pay off the driver to drop the car.

    Call the cops if they are tow snipers

    Had a guy who zoomed in and grabbed my car before I could do anything about it (long story - thought I was in the right place, but parking for where I was shopping was actually the lot across the street) - he told me to give him the $50 to put the car down and I not so politely told him what he could do with that idea. I called the BPD when he tried to run me over and the operator got a hold of the guy and told him to bring my car back because he hadn't called it in before hooking it - if they don't call your license into the city lot before towing, they are breaking the rules/law so if you can catch them quickly they can't hook the car until it's been reported - avoids people thinking their car was stolen rather than towed. Also, that car was supposed to be put on a flatbed and I think they are liable for damages if they don't use proper equipment-they should know the difference. Fortunately he didn't get far enough to do damage.

    Not Surprised

    No part of that interaction surprises me. Wait until they close this case as resolved with no information telling you what it means. I've called in requests for my street to be snow plowed and others for graffiti and each time I received an email stating
    it was "resolved". Yet in each case I never saw a plow come by and am still looking at the graffiti.

    The power of Universal Hub

    I've been told by an employee of the Office of Neighborhood Services that the best way to get a city department problem resolved quickly and painlessly is to have appear on Universal Hub.

    Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

    I was intrigued by the way this issue is presented by the complainant not as the tow truck driver making a mistake, but as a complaint that the signs are incorrect. So I looked it up - according to the city's street sweeping schedule online, Mt. Ida Rd. is 1st and 3rd Thursdays on the odd-numbered side, and 2nd and 4th on the even-numbered side. Google Street View tells me that the car was parked on the even-numbered side, so indeed, the sign is incorrect. (And thus, Adam, much as I hate to admit it, your headline does the tow truck driver an injustice.)

    Now, back to my job monitoring that nuclear reactor...

    Parking regulations are

    Parking regulations are enforceable because they are posted on signs, not some page on the city's website.

    Before taking away someone else's expensive property, the tow truck driver damn well should double-check what the sign says.

    "Supervisor"

    Shouldn't he/she have noticed the sign problem? When did the sweeping season start? Starting month 3 in my neighborhood. Who oversees this and have others been wrongly towed?

    I don't think Somerville

    I don't think Somerville charges anything to appeal a parking ticket. I heard Brookline charges $10, and Arlington charges $5, even though no such fees are authorized under the state law that defines the appeal procedure.

    The state charges $25 to appeal a traffic ticket.

    "The state charges $25 to

    "The state charges $25 to appeal a traffic ticket."

    Someone really needs to take that to the US Supreme Court. I don't care what the state SC says, charging people for access to one's constitutional right to hearing/trial can't possibly be constitutional.

    Some states have laws that

    Some states have laws that protect drivers from predatory towers - in New York a tow operator must release a car if the driver returns to the car. None of this "one inch off the ground" nonsense. No $50 extortion. Reach out to your city councilors and state legislators and ask them to tighten regulation on tow companies and strengthen citizens' rights.

    I had a meter maid ticket my

    I had a meter maid ticket my brand new car (with the price sticker still on it), because I didn't have an inspection sticker. I KNOW I have 7 days to get one. http://www.mass.gov/rmv/faq/inspection.htm

    When I mentioned it to the cop and he told me to appeal it...I made a "give me a break" face...and he got irritated with me...and said "Hey, that's a legal ticket".

    There may BE something to the "once the ticket is written, it can't be cancelled". But, Jeesh, use your head before you start writing everyone up on the street!