Archive for Saturday, June 13, 1992

UNWELCOME TOW

June 13, 1992

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To the editor:

On May 23, 1992, my husband and I drove to Lawrence (from our home in Kansas City) to shop at your factory outlet mall and downtown Lawrence. We had planned to make a full day of it shopping, eating and enjoying your city. There was a lot of activity in Lawrence that day and parking spots were quite difficult to find. At one point, we noticed spaces available in a lot, but upon further investigation, we found a sign at the lot which noted all violators will be towed. We certainly didn't want to experience that, so we kept on looking. Eventually, we found a spot on Seventh Street, near the Raven Book Store. There are spaces available on that block for four vehicles; three were already occupied, and we parallel-parked in the space available.

We spent several hours shopping; we ate lunch and then decided to take our packages to the car before we resumed our shopping. Upon turning the corner onto Seventh Street, we realized our car was missing! Our immediate fear was that it had been stolen. However, now there were signs hanging on the parking meters (that weren't there before!) which read: "Chief of Police, No parking due to wedding"! Yes, it appeared our car had been towed away for a wedding. After making what seemed to be a thousand or so calls, we discovered our car had indeed been towed!

Is this how the city of Lawrence expects to gain new consumers and keep them? I can assure you we won't be back to spend our money there! It took forever to get any action (I should say information) and even the desk officer at the police station was uncomfortable with the circumstances. He said, "I'm not even going to pretend I understand the reason for your tow. Several other folks have already been here (their cars were towed, too) and I didn't have a good explanation for them either."

Now, tell me, is this a common practice in your city. I can only guess that one or more members of that wedding party were "good ole' friends" of the chief of police. On a Sunday, when your businesses are closed and if the signs were posted at the start of the day, then maybe I could understand. But on a Saturday, the busiest day of the week, and no notice definitely no towing notice now you really must be joking.

What kind of a city government have you got there? I'd like to know.

Beverly Stewart,

Kansas City, Mo.

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