CHICAGO (CBS) — If you live in Chicago, checking the parking signs is supposed to be the best way to avoid a ticket, but sometimes the signs can leave drivers not knowing which way to turn.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Vince Gerasole found you could wind up with a parking ticket, depending on which way the wind blows.
Sometimes an arrow on a parking sign can point a driver in the wrong direction, especially when the pole it’s fastened to pivots 180 degrees.
James Ngo has lived in the South Loop for the past year, regularly parking in the same spot on 13th Street. He said the arrow on a parking sign was pointing east when he parked there last month, but the pictures on his $75 ticket showed it had been turned to point west by the time he was cited.
“Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t waste my time fighting the city, but this time I knew for sure I was in the right,” he said.
Ngo challenged the ticket online, and CBS 2 was told it is being dismissed, but beyond saving $75, or insisting patrols writing tickets know their neighborhoods better, Ngo said he’s motivated by something else.
“The city of Chicago is really diverse,” he said.
Ngo and his family immigrated to Chicago from Vietnam, and he knows well the struggles of newcomers coping with the city’s infamous bureaucracy.
“A lot of people that live here, English is not their first language. So a lot of times they don’t have an opportunity to fight a situation like this, and they just have to pay the ticket,” he said. “I just want to be a voice for them.”
Following inquiries from CBS 2, the city sent a crew to repair the parking sign and pole on 13th Street. A Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson called the situation “unusual,” and thanked CBS 2 for flagging it.