By Dave Savini, Michele Youngerman

CHICAGO (CBS) — Marcus Jones sits on the front stoop of his Auburn Gresham home. On a city pole across from him, there is a bright yellow sign with a large letter “F”.

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It’s a warning to drivers – Friday is street cleaning day so don’t park there or you will get a ticket.

Marcus Jones would give the letter F as a grade to the City of Chicago for how it is posting these signs and issuing street cleaning tickets in his neighborhood.

“Tie them correctly,” said Marcus Jones. “Make them real visible. You know, obviously follow your own instructions. So just follow your own instructions.”

City of Chicago workers are supposed to hang street cleaning signs in places where you can see them, have time to move your car and avoid a ticket. But throughout Jones’ Auburn Gresham neighborhood, our CBS 2 Investigators found street cleaning signs in disarray – torn, not clearly visible, or missing altogether.

So how much warning is the city really giving you?

Lenora Turner says there’s no good warning along her street.

“If they were doing their job the right way, we wouldn’t have this problem,” she said.

The street cleaning sign posted near her home had fallen to the bottom of the pole, and it was facing the wrong way. The sign was basically sitting on the ground and facing the homes when it should face the street.

Another sign along the 3700 block of West 77th Place was hard to see, as it is attached to a tree next to somebody’s driveway, and blocked by a flower pot and cars.

Signs were also seen lying flat on the ground, mounted to somebody’s fence, and placed backwards to face the sidewalk.

This all has Turner’s friend, Ladonna Deshazier, upset.

“If you’re not looking, you won’t even see that,” said Deshazier. “And had we not been out here talking about it, I wouldn’t have even noticed it.”

“And this is not right,” Turner added. “That’s all I have to say.”

Victor Valencia lives nearby and says his block also was missing visible street cleaning signs. We caught with him moving his car after a neighbor called to warn him to move his car in the morning.

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“Over the years, I’ve definitely seen a lot of people get tickets,” said Valencia. “Some of the signage, you know, is not enough.”

The CBS 2 Investigators have been exposing problems with these signs for years, and the resulting tickets.

But this time, we found yet another problem and it happened to Marcus Jones. He was given a street cleaning ticket last Thursday, for not moving his car. The problem is, street cleaning was scheduled for Friday.

“I mean, it’s negligent. They’re just writing tickets for no reason,” said Jones. “Obviously, they’re not even looking at their own signs. So apparently, we suffer when, you know, they make their mistakes.”

His mother, Anita Burton-Jones, is also angry about the ticket – and turned to social media.

“So I just kind of immediately snapped and went to Twitter,” said Burton-Jones. “And then I tagged the City of Chicago. And then I tagged you for the results. And thank God you showed up.”

A day after her tweet, we found another city employee about to write a ticket along a street where city workers failed to put any visible street cleaning warning signs. After we pointed out the lack of signage, that worker drove away without writing a ticket.

We also found the city worker who gave Marcus Jones a bogus ticket. We asked her why she wrote a Friday parking violation ticket on a Thursday, and showed it to her. She had no comment.

“The city is robbing us, they just don’t have a pistol in their hand,” said Anita Burton-Jones.

“It’s definitely a cash grab,” said Marcus Jones whose ticket has now been dismissed by the city.

He still has a message for the mayor: “Fix it. Fix it.”

The city now tells us that they have dismissed Jones’ parking ticket. Of course, he also has his mom to thank for contacting us for help.

As far as the poor signage goes, the city didn’t have an answer for What they plan to do about that.

A City Of Chicago spokesperson sent the following statement:

“The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) is dedicated to safe and healthy streets and alleys through the delivery of resident services, including street sweeping. Signs for street sweeping are posted at least two days in advance on permanent structures such as utility poles, street light poles and trees. On a stretch of street where there are no permanent structures, signs are hung on fences and trees of private property to help with notification. Street sweeping schedules can also be accessed at https://www.sweeparound.us/, where residents can subscribe to receive alerts on street sweeping, or on the DSS website. Additionally, if a resident feels they have received a ticket in error, they are given an opportunity to contest the ticket in Administrative Hearings.”

 

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