Thursday, April 17, 2008

Minneapolis Towing Horror Story: Leaf Removal Email Notification Desperately Needed

Flickr photo

Here are the thoughts of Emily Sachs, a Humphrey Grad student who has the distinction of being towed FOUR TIMES IN THE LAST YEAR. She has some great thoughts on how leaf removal is, for all practical purposes concerning towing, just like a snow emergency so why not get email notifications...

Emily says:

I've become an expert on towing. In the last year, I've been towed four times. Mind you, I've never received a moving violation in the Twin Cities. But somehow I've got trouble with PARKING.

Honestly, three of them were my fault, I guess. Forgetting to move my car according to the #@$(@&$! restrictions in my neighborhood.

[Emily, that's how they dis-empower us, making us think it's our "own fault" for running afoul of their maze of regulations. Did you deserve THAT much pain and penalty for such innocent, minor errors? Or did you deserve, instead, an email and a text message saying "Move it or lost it in the next half hour?"]

Here are more of Emily's thoughts:

Here is what I *AM* mad about. If you can register by email for the snow emergency notification, and thus receive an email when there is a snow emergency, then why won't the city let you register for leaf removal notification? (That would be my third tow)

Last night, picking my car up from the impound lot yet again, the woman was kind enough to remind me that leaf removal is starting now and to check the city website. Apparently, they call land lines, but nothing else! So cell users like me aren't notified, as far as I can figure out.

The policy student part of me has rationalized all of this with the understanding that since I don't pay property taxes (I'm a renter) then I'm doing my good deed as a taxpayer and forking over my money in the form of tickets and towing/retrieval fees.

[Sorry, incredible as it may seem, Minneapolis claims it actually LOSES money on snow emergencies, though money is clearly being made by the tow truck companies. As for doing your good deed by paying taxes, wouldn't you rather just buy a couple hundred lottery tickets and at least have some fun with the money?]

Plus, I came within 30 seconds of being towed in December due to snow and I literally THREW MYSELF ACROSS THE SIDE OF MY LITTLE JETTA to keep the tow truck driver at bay. I cut him off as he was walking to get the ticket off my windshield. He was none-too-pleased and slapped the ticket out of my hand.

"You're lucky!" he scowled. He was pretty [expletive] off at me.

Clearly this is a money-maker.

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