Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just Like I Said Months Ago: A Towing Nightmare In St. Paul photo, tow truck in St. Paul

OK, first of all, I called it a couple months ago and now the rest of the media is just catching up with the story. A parking nightmare is shaping up in St. Paul, which is automatically a TOWING NIGHTMARE if something doesn't change soon, like giving drivers individual electronic notification of an impending tow. (Modern, yes, but very feasible)

Here's a link to the Star Tribune article in question. There are some issues in the article which I would like to highlight and, shall I say, spin in my own special way...

...such as the fact the information about public input in the article is really good to see, especially in light of the frustrating experience I had there a couple months ago, and didn't I let the world know about THAT? Maybe some of that had an impact.

Anyway, there is a meeting on June 5 at the Goodwill/Easter Seals building, 553 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, and people can even call and leave their comments at 651-266-2776. I called and, yes, the line does work and is a specific line dedicated to gathering these comments. You won't get lost in a bureaucratic voice mail system.

In the article, the project leaders acknowledge "there won't be a perfect solution for everybody." Translation: some folks, particularly small business owners in Frogtown and Midtown, will have to be sacrificed in the name of progress. This is what happens when you're named FROG town. You get sacrificed, like a frog being dissected in biology class. (Here's a great opportunity to plug my periodic employer, Bio Corporation in Alexandria, Minnesota)

I'm all for progress, even if sacrifices need to be made. I want the light rail. I understand University Avenue will change and some of these businesses will have to move. Some businesses might close up or even go bankrupt. (Can't say I'm sorry to see the tattoo parlors and pawn shops find another place to go)

Yet the light rail will open up more opportunities than it shuts off.

ALL I ASK is that if you're going to create a bloody, ugly Darwinian proving grounds of survival-of-the-fittest in the competition for parking, toss in some solutions to make the situation less of a nightmare. Individual notification of impending tows, for example. Better ways to track where one's vehicle is in the system, including tracking the vehicle online. (Very useful late at night, when you're trying to figure out if you've been "towed or stolen."

Is this all so much to ask?


Anonymous said...


I'm sure I'm not your favorite person... I'm a parking monitor. (I watch to see when someone parks illegally, then call the tow truck.)

Just wanted to let you know, if you don't already, that whenever we tow, we call the police desk immediately with the plate, make, & model of the vehicle. So anyone who's been impounded can call 911 and find out if their car's been towed or stolen.

Johnny T. Utopia said...

Oh, right, call the EMERGENCY 911 SYSTEM to find out about a car being towed. Is it any wonder it's sometimes hard to get a cop for a real emergency, if the police are going around telling people who may have been towed to call 911 and choke up the system?