CHICAGO (CBS) — One south side man went on a mission after getting two parking tickets near his apartment. He wanted to know: do north siders get as many tickets as he and his neighbors do?
He and CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker took a closer look.
“I was parked right here,” said De’Von Favors.
He was parked too close to the stop sign…violating the 30 feet limit, so Favors got not one, but two $ 60 dollar tickets he deserved.
“I feel it’s a ticket trap,” he said.
Why? Favors argues there are not enough NO parking signs in his neighborhood warning drivers that this is illegal.
“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.
“…because if you drive around here, you’ll see multiple tickets, you’ll see boots on a car,” said Favors.
So this web developer, who’s a novice at advocacy is on a mission, fighting for this 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.
And then Favors took a ride to the north side, 16 miles to Roscoe Village…armed with pen and paper, he did the same thing.
“I went down School, Ravenswood, Wolcott again. I went down the entire neigbhorhood of Roscoe Village,” said Favors
His conclusion? “Roscoe Village is healthy with these signs. So if somebody parks… they know because you see a sign next to the stop sign. Over here it’s a different situation,” said Favors.
After he counted…we counted.
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%>.
“Signs do help. They remind people where you can and cannot park,” says self-described parking gee, 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?
“I don’t know for sure. I don’t know if it’s race but 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.
Roscoe Village, with a median income of $110,000, residents here 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.
“I had over $5,000 in parking tickets. Look me up,” said Brandon Johnson.
He added 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 Department of Transportation installs the signs but it’s the aldermen who decide who gets them. 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 his point and she said agrees.
Does it make sense to make an appeal for more warning signs?
Hairston told us: “I can do that. Yes. I’ll let you know when they go up.”
Favors says his neighborhood needs 74 signs.
CDOT tells us it would cost $150 to install each one – a total cost $11,000 dollars.
Monday, Alderman Hairston sent a letter to the 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.