DC parking nightmares: Towed, ticketed & ticketed again

D.C residents share their parking nightmares with WUSA9 after they got towed, ticketed and ticketed again.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- By law the District of Columbia can decide to tow your vehicle even if you've parked legally. That doesn't mean they don't have any rules to go by, but don't tell that to Tyler Chin.

On the morning of October 6, Chin went looking for his car. He lives near the D.C. Convention Center and often parks on 9th Street.

The night before, the president had given a speech at the Convention Center, and for security, the cars along 9th Street were towed.

The next morning, Tyler began calling 311.

"The main thing that was upsetting was that they didn't enter it into the system and I had no idea where the car was," Chin said.

After a couple of unsuccessful phone calls to the city, Tyler continues walking and searching.

D.C. laws are clear about what's supposed to happen. When the city tows a vehicle, they are supposed to issue a towing control number for that tow. That number should be reported no more than two hours after the vehicle has been towed.

Tyler finally found his car on New York Avenue and K Street, a little over three blocks away. He also found something else.

"Emergency no parking zone here at 900 K Street and I'm thinking what?"

Chin had been ticketed, not once but twice. The first ticket was for failure to pay the meter.

"The second one is adding insult to injury, Emergency No Parking. But the only reason I'm here is because they dropped it here right," Chin said.

These temporary signs had been posted leading to the second ticket.

"I mean that's so screwed up," Chin said.

John Gramlich had the same thing happen. He told WUSA9 back in August that his car had been towed for street sweeping. It was towed from P Street to Massachusetts Avenue. He was then towed again because it was rush hour.

Gramlich got four tickets totaling $400. The Department of Public Works admitted that this shouldn't have happened and agreed to dismiss three of those tickets. That didn't have until WUSA9 called them again.

The law is clear on this as well. It says the police department or the Department of Public Works can have a vehicle conveyed to any street where parking is not prohibited. The city wasn't talking about this either.

"Well I'm confused because they don't have a better system. I mean, so messed up. And they make money off of this system you know," Chin said.

Neither the police department or the Department of Public Works would talk with WUSA9 on camera, but Public Works did finally send an email. It said "DPW has asked the Department of Motor Vehicles to void the tickets issued to Mr. Chin and the tickets issued to Mr. Gramlich.

 


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