Friday, November 28, 2008

Kansas City, Missouri Wakes Up To Predatory Towing Photo, City Hall, Kansas City, Mo.

When I see the phrase "predatory towing" actually used in a headline, I know America's consciousness about this issue is starting to increase, as was the case in a recent article from Kansas City, Missouri, click here.

Notably, not everybody in...

...Kansas City thinks there is a problem with predatory towing. A blog devoted to issues in Kansas City suggested naive, rube-like citizens need some kind of primer in "Big City Parking 101," click here.

Well, I think that particular blog post is just wrong-headed and, further, the blogger projects a little too much of a sense of jaded, cosmopolitan superiority. Where is that blogger from, and what big city tales does "William Rockhill Nelson" have to tell to convince me of his savvy about "big city parking?" I say "predatory towing" is a big city issue, but I don't see any evidence Mr. Nelson has even HEARD of it.

It's pretty clear from recent articles in the Kansas City Star that predatory towing practices have indeed become a problem, and it unfortunately coincides with a "revival" of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, at outlined in this article, click here.

You really have to wonder how long any city's "downtown revival" can last if word gets out about sneaky, predatory towing. Some complaints concern warning signs not properly displayed and tow truck drivers lying in wait to snatch cars.

Some proposals for the a new anti-predatory towing ordinance include requiring towing companies to accept credit cards, and capping fees. I hope before the ordinance gets passed, Kansas City might look to some other cities for ideas, like ideas about required signage. Many of those ideas are documented on this blog.

The Kansas City Star is supportive of reform, warning public officials in an editorial that if visitors have negative experiences downtown, they might not come back, click here.

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