Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Street-cleaning ticketing problems

(View photos)
(Read July 5, 2006 press release)

As if the orange paper signs weren't causing enough headaches, our campaign volunteers have discovered a major street-cleaning ticketing problem in the Lakeview area where new permanent signs have been placed - all streets from Fullerton to Diversey, east of Clark, are affected, including Hampden (Deming-Diversey), Arlington (Clark-Lakeview), Lakeview (Diversey-Fullerton), Deming (Clark-Lakeview), Pine Grove (Wrightwood-Diversey), Lehmann (Diversey-Wrightwood), and Drummond (Clark-Lehmann). We have seen the problem this Tuesday and Wednesday, June 27 and 28, on several of the streets in the area. Hundreds of cars have been improperly ticketed just this week, and if it has been occurring for months, then we are talking thousands of cars.

The problem is that the new permanent street cleaning signs have been posted, but the alderman hasn't updated the schedule that she sends to the Department of Revenue and the police. People are correctly assuming they can park on these streets but are being ticketed by people who aren't paying attention to the new signs.

We are opposed to the new permanent signs. In many ways, they're even worse than the old ones, which are bad enough, as many neighbors can confirm. We have a better solution that we'll be revealing in the coming months.

You shouldn't have to put up with this. Please be patient as we work to resolve this issue. I've put in a call to the Department of Revenue to see if we can resolve this for everyone ticketed. In the meantime, everyone should contest their tickets by mail to get it on the record, just in case. (Use explanation #6: "The illegal condition described in the compliance violation did not exist at the time this notice was issued.")

Anyone who has been ticketed should e-mail us immediately at with their information so that we may keep you posted on our progress. Include your name and address, auto license number, date and location where the ticket was issued, and citation number from the ticket.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I contested a ticket with this letter and was told I still have to pay it. The city is getting away with a huge scam.

I received April 7, 2006 on the grounds that: The facts alleged in the parking or compliance violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violate.

The signs on N. Hampden Court state “Street Cleaning, 9:00 am – 12:00 every second Tuesday of the month. For some reason, I received a street cleaning ticket on Friday 04, 2006. The signage is extremely inconsistent and confusing.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Peter Zelchenko said...

Thank you, my friend. You've helped crack a part of the code. If you don't mind, please e-mail me at so that we may communicate privately.

You've shown us two valuable things from your experience. The first is that this problem "does not compute" with the city's mechanism. So the many others whom I've instructed to contest the ticket may well have the same experience, or we may possibly see mixed results.

As we're learning, it's a frighteningly complex system: Streets and Sanitation establishes a no-parking zone; every morning, someone explicitly informs Revenue what area to ticket, and police and the ward can also ticket; each agency must follow up as the plaintiff for this mini-suit against the vehicle owner; compound this with the new permanent sign system, and you get an idea where the problems begin and what we're going to need to do to reverse it.

The second thing you've taught us is very valuable. You're the first person so far who's revealed that this has happened before this week. I felt that it was either a fluke or this has happened more than once since last fall when the new signs went up. At worst, this could mean thousands of improperly issued tickets over several months.

I'm working with Revenue to get all of the tickets from this week dismissed. (I have not yet gotten their guarantee.) After that, we're going to look back and see how many times this has happened since the signs went up. If we can't get satisfaction this way (using calmness, reason, and determination), we'll try a different route.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the premise that a city's main source of revenue is through punitive means instead of service means is the problem. Note the army of ticketing agents on the streets these days combined with the virtual inability for the average citizen to have a wrongfully issued ticket redressed in court given Cook county's unique 'presumption of guilt' system. If Daley looses his office, it will be because of this zealous army's abuse of our citizens' good nature.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Peter Zelchenko said...

Crispus: "Presumption of guilt" is an interesting and, in this instance, very appropriate choice of words. Two of those ticketed have just written our office to let us know that although they contested the tickets with a reasonable explanation, they are being told they will have to pay the tickets anyway.

1:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home