CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side man went on a mission after getting two parking tickets near his apartment. He wanted to know if North Siders get as many tickets as he and his neighbors do.
De’Von Favors and CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker took a closer look.
Favors got not one, but two $60 tickets he deserved for parking too close to a stop sign.
“I feel it’s a ticket trap,” he said.
Why? Favors argued there are not enough “No Parking” signs in his neighborhood warning drivers that this is illegal to park less than 30 feet from a stop sign.
“This is an example of a stop sign that has a correct signage next to it that determines the distance to park to avoid getting a $60 ticket,” he showed us.
Favors wants more warning signs in his neighborhood.
“If you drive around here, you’ll see multiple tickets, you’ll see boots on a car,” said Favors.
The web developer, who’s a novice at advocacy, is on a mission; fighting for a small section of South Shore known as O’Keeffe.
“I walked every single block, and did a count, an assessment of every corner that needed a sign,” said Favors.
Then Favors took a ride to the North Side, about 16 miles to Roscoe Village. Armed with pen and paper, he did the same thing there.
“I went down School, Ravenswood, Wolcott again. I went down the entire neighborhood of Roscoe Village,” said Favors.
“Roscoe Village is healthy with these signs. So, if somebody parks, they know it, because you see a sign next to a stop sign. Over here, it’s a different situation,” said Favors.
After he counted, the 2 Investigators counted as well.
We compared 38 blocks in South Shore’s O’Keeffe area to a much larger, 65 blocks in Roscoe Village. In South Shore, 35% of the stop signs have warning signs posted. In Roscoe Village 65% have “No Parking” signs.
“Signs do help. They remind people where you can and cannot park,” said self-described parking geek Mike Brockway.
More evidence? Using raw data from ProPublica – we found from January through April of this year drivers in this section of South Shore received 73 tickets for parking too close to stop signs, versus just 23 in Roscoe Village.
Why the discrepancy between the North Side and the South Side?
“It bothers me. I don’t know if it’s race-based. I know it’s unfair,” said Brockway.
What also seems unfair is the amount of money collected by the Department of Revenue from 2007 through 2017 in the two very different communities.
In Roscoe Village, with a median income of $110,000, residents paid or owed $63,226 in fines, fees, and penalties for stop sign tickets. South Shore’s median income is just $28,000, but the ticket tally is $152,841, more than double the total in Roscoe Village.
“I had over $5,000 in parking tickets. Look me up,” said Brandon Johnson.
Johnson said it’s hard to catch up once you get behind.
“I just got my license back last year,” said Johnson.
“I’ve moved past anger. We have to have immediate action from the city,” said Favors.
The Chicago Department of Transportation installs “No Parking” signs, but it’s aldermen who decide where the signs are placed.
Favors sent a series of emails to his alderman, Leslie Hairston; so that’s where we turned.
“You’re targeting the lower income neighborhoods who are least able to pay, and that is wrong. That’s unfair,” said Hairston.
That is exactly Favors’ point, and she said she agrees.
Does it make sense to make an appeal for more warning signs?
“I can do that. Yes. I’ll let you know when they go up,” Hairston said.
On Monday, Hairston sent a letter to the city’s inspector general, asking him to investigate her constituents’ concerns that South Shore residents pay more than double the amount in parking tickets compared to Roscoe Village residents.
Favors said his neighborhood needs 74 signs about parking near stop signs.
CDOT said it would cost $150 to install each one; a total cost of $11,100.