Reporting Suzanne Le Mignot
CHICAGO (CBS) – Cheating the system? In one Chicago neighborhood cargo vans line the streets around the clock, but the problem is they may not be there legally.
CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports residents in the Archer Heights neighborhood have been complaining about commercial cargo vans and pickup trucks taking up parking spots where they shouldn’t be allowed to park most of the time.
“We’ve had numerous complaints from residents in the area at our beat meetings and other community meetings,” said Michael Kovac, the beat facilitator for the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy in the Archer Heights neighborhood.
Residents in the community have pointed the cargo trucks and vans as being one of the leading causes of the parking problem in the area.
Kovac looked into the complaints and found a common trend.
“The license plates on many of these vehicles were passenger plates, as opposed to truck plates,” he said.
City ordinance requires all commercial vehicles like those cargo vans and trucks to have light truck – or “B” – license plates. Such vehicles can park on a residential street only when providing a service.
While a “B” plate costs the same as a passenger plate, the city sticker for a vehicle with a “B” plate costs $200. The sticker for a passenger vehicle ranges from $85 to $135.
Kovac found at least 70 vehicles in his neighborhood with the lower-priced stickers. That’s a loss of revenue for the city of $4,550 to $8,050 a year.
“Close to 70 vehicles in a one-square-mile area; how widespread is this problem in the city of Chicago?” Kovac said.
Kristine Williams, spokeswoman for City Clerk Susana Mendoza, said “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Clerk Mendoza is committed to pursuing those who disobey parking laws, intentionally provide misinformation, or don’t pay their fair share of the wheel tax. We are reviewing these incidents.”