Parking Ticket Geek

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Advice For Dealing With Downtown Meter Meltdown

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The Parking Ticket Geek

The Geek is an idiot, who gets a lot of parking tickets, and knows how to fight back.

OK.

You parked downtown on Wednesday, tried to pay the new fangled computer Pay & Display thingy with your credit car or quarters, but all you got was a terse "Please Pay At Another Station" message on the readout.

The problem was, nearly every Pay & Display pay station was inoperable from 7:30 until nearly 5 PM. With about 250 machines out, there was no other pay stations to pay for your street parking.

It seems none of these cutting edge technology machines were issuing receipts to put on your dashboard--the only way you can prove you paid for your parking.

Even though DOR parking enforcement aides (PEA's) , police and traffic management aides (TMA) personnel were instructed NOT to issue ticket at meters downtown in the Central Business District, you still may have received a ticket for an expired meter.

So, if you somehow received an expired meter ticket on Wednesday, May 27 while parked at a meter located downtown, (bounded by Roosevelt, Halsted, North Ave., and the lake), here's what you need to do.

First, take a deep cleansing breath. Inhale. Exhale.

Everything is going to be fine.

The second thing to do is report the ticket and the problem with the meter to LAZ Parking and the city.

There are three numbers for you to call. We strongly suggest call and making a report to all three if you were issued a ticket.

LAZ Parking 877-242-7901

Department of Revenue Parking Ticket Help Line 312-744-PARK (7275)

City of Chicago 311

Again, call all three numbers to report the problem.

Third, pickup tomorrow's Tribune or Sun-Times.

Grab a scissors and clip the article in either paper documenting the parking meter meltdown of 2009.

Fourth, write a quick letter explaining that the all the meters were not working, send a copy of the article you just clipped from the paper and explain the hearing officer MUST dismiss this ticket because all the meters were inoperable.

Don't forget to include your ticket number, along with your name and address on the letter. Slap a stamp on the envelope and slip it into your neighborhood mailbox.

Fifth, crack open an adult beverage, put your feet up, and breathe a sigh of relief.

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