More Parking Information Needed During F.C. Events
I have lived in Falls Church for 12 years and on my first Fourth of July holiday evening in the City, I saw the first of what-was-to-be many cars being towed into an impound – my first exposure to predatory towing. That particular impound lot is now gone but 12 years later, the community still allows – and still debates – the practice of predatory towing.
Who would want to visit our community knowing that the community culture is so mean spirited that it implicitly condones or encourages (through the demonstrated lack of action) the practice of predatory towing as a solution to parking congestion?
The current merchants’ parking enforcement process is not intended to help the visitor/driver understand and respect the merchants’ parking restrictions; rather since it is done surreptitiously by a hidden spotter, it appears that the towing solution is focused on causing inconvenience and expense to the uninformed driver while enriching the towing company.
The community has nothing to be proud of with the current merchants’ parking and enforcement methods on these high-use holidays. The current enforcement method breeds visitor resentment: it is a punitive and malicious process intended to profit from the unwary.
While unlikely to be practical for everyday enforcement, it would seem easy to improve this situation by providing parking information assistance on two key holiday periods when the predatory parking issue is most active and controversial: Memorial Day at Broaddale Shopping Center and Fourth of July evening at Falls Plaza Shopping Center.
Look for me on the corner of Falls Plaza on the next Fourth of July evening. I won’t be climbing on car hoods but I’ll be on hand trying help visitors by explaining the parking and towing policies to them as they arrive and thereby, hopefully help them to enjoy their holiday visit by keeping their vehicles out of the impound.
I can’t provide a durable community solution to predatory towing but perhaps I can help make the next holiday a little more pleasant for unwary visitors to Falls Church on our next holiday.
G. T. Bowman
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