Arlington, VA

There’s a global-pandemic-slash-economic-crisis going on, but you know what apparently isn’t affected? Towing.

Just like death and taxes, being towed is inevitable if you park without a permit in a private lot patrolled by a towing company. Even now.

That hasn’t stopped some people from trying, though, with predictable results. One local resident contacted ARLnow to suggest that trespass towing presents unnecessary risks during this time.

I live in a condo association in South Arlington that has parking policies that during normal conditions ensures that there is enough parking spaces for its residents at night. The policy is in effect from 8PM to 8AM. Virginia is currently under stay-at-home orders. My neighbors are not having gatherings or parties. Parking spots are not taken to local traffic visiting bars and restaurants. There are adequate spaces for residents and their guests. The parking policy does not hold.

However, the condo association is upholding a parking policy. Since my car was towed because I had not shown the proper permit, I need to get an Uber to the towing company in Falls Church and I would need to interact with the towing company to pay for any fees. I am putting my health in jeopardy, along with every person that I interact with. All of these risks could have been avoided if my car was not towed in the first place. I am not sure if towing from a residential property constitutes as essential business.

Who is looking out for our community’s well being for nonessential business that might put us at risk? How do we uphold stay-at-home guidelines when businesses are operating as business as usual?

I suspect that my circumstance is not the only one. I am not confident that Alrington can lower its positive Coronavirus cases if we do not take social distancing seriously.

(ARLnow has received similar messages about the county’s parking enforcement: “I noticed all cars being ticketed on my street this morning… Might be a good article to publish / investigate given the federal government’s recommendation that people not leave their homes / condos.”)

Given the current public health emergency, do you think it would make sense to suspend all trespass towing on private lots — kind of like The Purge but for parking? Or should parking restrictions should continue to be enforced?

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