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Car towed for repaving
  • dirtymartini June 30, 2014 - 5:06 pm #109441 Reply

    Hi all,

    My husband’s car was towed on Wednesday 6/18 for repaving. Too bad we left the country on Sunday 6/15 and didn’t return until Thursday 6/26 until midnight. According to one of our neighbors the signs didn’t go up until Tuesday, the day prior to towing. I realize that Arlington County statute say they only have to give 24 hours notice, but is it legal to actually charge you for the entire time your car is in storage when you had no idea they were towing? Total fees are $640 PLUS a $50 ticket because we were parked in a “No parking zone.” Of course it was only a no parking zone for 2 days for the paving, when we left the car was parked legally. We paid the fee and got the car out but now we are going to try to fight Arlington to get our money back. Does anyone have any experience with this or know of anyone else who does? I don’t think it will be worth the time/money to sue so we’re hoping it doesn’t come to that. It’s summer, people go on vacation. People also travel for work in this area, we can’t be the only ones who have gone through this. Any help/advice is appreciated. It was already a very expensive vacation, adding $700 at the very end for something was no fault of our own is really difficult to swallow. Thank you.

    R July 1, 2014 - 8:12 am #109463 Reply

    I also live in a neighborhood where they were paving that week (probably the same one as you). My major issue was that we have a weekly appointment at 7pm and if we miss it, costs us money. I had to park away from our parking spot (not on the street) in order to gain access to our car.

    Here is the major issue I think you should stick to: their website states they notify residents weeks in advance. http://transportation.arlingtonva.us/streets/street-maintenance/

    No one in our building received notification of the repaving! I was very irritated because this was more than just a simple inconvenience to us that I won’t address in this forum. We thankfully were able to access our home before and after they laid the new asphalt.

    I recommend you call and be a squeeky wheel. We witnessed several cars being towed that morning. A statute that gives 24-hours notice for a non-emergency repair is ridiculous and doesn’t serve their residents.

    Call the 2 people listed as POCs for the repaving and if you can, elevate the issue to their supervisor.

    dirtymartini July 1, 2014 - 9:19 am #109468 Reply

    Thanks for your response R! I also found the link you posted above and don’t remember ever receiving a letter. I’ll ask my neighbors as well. I contacted the police department and have left several messages since Friday for the Sergeant who is in charge of parking/towing. I am giving him until tomorrow and then calling for his supervisor. I’ll try the people who are in charge of repaving but I have a feeling it’s the police I have to deal with on this, since they ordered the tow. I have no problems nagging someone to death over this, just ask my husband. ;)

    CourthouseChris July 1, 2014 - 12:55 pm #109501 Reply

    I feel for you, same thing happened to me when I went on a business trip and the apartment complex threw up those no parking signs to accomodate a contractor’s trailer. It’s a terrible feeling that the county ordinance permits this, and no one gives a damn about the legitimately-parked residents.

    22201 for 12 July 2, 2014 - 7:29 pm #109690 Reply

    I second the encouragement for squeakiness.  We have had this issue at Colonial Village for some time.  It reached a boiling point recently and I had a very substantive and constructive response from a Board admin when I copied Jay Fissette on an e-mail.  You need a two pronged approach here- my sense is that the police are a dead end.  They didn’t order the paving… You need the resurfacing people and the ear of the board.

    Whereas our own situation is still under development (no $$$ involved, just drama), I was indeed encouraged by the communication I have had thus far.  Moreover, the county needs to know that we won’t tolerate unreasonable notices. I am grateful for the paving, yet my car sits for weeks as I have drunk the ArlCo Kool-Aid and walk/bike/metro.  Good luck!

    spaghetti July 3, 2014 - 11:25 am #109728 Reply

    The same thing happened to me while I was on vacation, though it was in NY and wasn’t for paving (no parking signs were put up just so a neighbor could reserve street parking for a contractor). I hired a lawyer and fought it hard to try and get the towing and storage fees reimbursed but I was never successful… very frustrating!

    SteveP July 3, 2014 - 1:55 pm #109765 Reply

    The county does notify residents in advance. I’ve had a flier (I think it was stuck to my door) on my fridge for a couple of months notifying me that my street will be paved sometime this summer. I’ve made a point of when I’m out of town to make sure the car is in the driveway. Seems that the flier ought to be delivered when the paving is 30 days out or so, as people may forget if it’s further away, but I did receive one for my street.

    All that being said, it’s possible that a flier could have blown away or been missed or perhaps not delivered at all. It’ll be a hard thing to argue over though if the county sent someone out to deliver them to your street.

    R July 3, 2014 - 5:43 pm #109797 Reply

    The county did NOT notify anyone in our neighborhood. There are at least 50 households in the 3 streets that make our neighborhood…I’ve spoken to 10 who have said they did not receive notification by mail, door, email, etc. Someone dropped the ball at the County.

    dirtymartini July 5, 2014 - 8:15 am #109806 Reply

    Yep, we definitely live in the same neighborhood R. I spoke with 4 neighbors so far, all were shocked at the repaving when it happened and that we were towed.

    I’ve left a ton of messages so far but have yet to talk to a human who can potentially help us. Still keeping my fingers crossed.

    YTK July 7, 2014 - 11:09 am #109859 Reply

    GOOD LUCK trying to get anything back from Arlington County. I had my oil pan torn off by a (black) manhole cover on a (black asphalt) street that had been undercut  — with NO marking on the manhole cover to serve as a visual warning. I went to the office indicated by my insurance company (they TOO were unsuccessful) and was dealt with in a silent threatening manner by the person in charge, who then said, :” Let me check something in my office” and of course, never returned.

    dirtymartini August 5, 2014 - 11:22 am #111831 Reply

    Just want to give everyone an update on this topic. It took about 30 phone calls (most of them ending with me leaving a voicemail which was never returned) over a 5 week period but I am pleased to let everyone know we received a check in the mail yesterday from Arlington County refunding us the full $640 towing charge. The biggest hurdle was tracking down the correct department – which turned out to be the Dept. of Environmental Services. Once I was finally able to do that, the person with Arlington worked very quickly to approve the refund and get the check cut for us. They had never actually done this before and there was no process in place, but despite that it still only took about 2 weeks from the 1st time I spoke with him until we received the check . I was also able to get the $50 parking ticket dismissed. (The officer wrote the wrong street name on the ticket so that was actually really easy to get dismissed, I spoke with a woman on the phone and she did it immediately.)

    Just in case anyone needs to reference this in the future here were my arguments:

    1. The Arlington County website http://transportation.arlingtonva.us/streets/street-maintenance/ states a letter will go out 4-6 weeks prior advising residents to move their cars. This letter did not go out.
    2. Arlington County also sends a letter out in February of each year advising residents in effected areas that a repaving will take place anytime from March – November. We never received a letter like this.
    3. According to the February letter a few things are supposed to happen: door hangers and No Parking signs go out 2 days prior to the repaving. In my neighborhood the No Parking signs went up only 24 hours in advance and the door hangers weren’t done at all.

    Arlington definitely dropped the ball with notifying our neighborhood and I am so happy they worked quickly (once I reached the correct department) to give us a refund. If anyone stumbles on this thread in the future and needs help please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks to everyone who replied with advice, it’s been a fun 5 weeks!

    R August 5, 2014 - 12:48 pm #111863 Reply

    Thanks for the follow-up! I’m very glad you hung in there and refused to take no for an answer. Hopefully this is will help others out there as well because I saw many cars being towed that day. Luckily for us we weren’t affected other than the hassle. I was hoping someone would address this with the County other than my few phone calls about the lack of notification.

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