As if Chicago drivers didn't have enough to contend with between potholes and parking meters, the reckoning of a controversial new policy has arrived: 65,000 boot notices have been mailed out to motorists with a measly two unpaid parking tickets.
The boot threshold used to be five, and then three as the city ran into budget woes. Under the new policy of two, 415 cars have already gotten the boot, according to the Sun-Times.
"Desperate for dollars to erase a threatened $300 million budget shortfall, City Hall has embarked on a booting blitz," the paper reports.
The city council, which approved the plan brought forth by Mayor Daley, is not sympathetic.
"Pay one ticket and you're off the list," says Alderman Freddrenna Lyle (6th Ward).
Sun-Times commenter Joe Strick begs to differ with a complaint that surely resonates with Chicago residents: "'Pay one ticket and you are off the list.' Yes Alderman, that only works if you only have two tickets. These alderman obviously do not know how easy it is to get a ticket these days. We have technology giving out tickets that cannot be beat even when, for example, black ice around the city prevents people from stopping at lights."
Perhaps a tea bag along with your fine?
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter. He has fought City Hall about parking tickets for years. He recently lost contesting a red-light camera ticket that didn't take into account a judgement call on a rain-slicked roadway; Strict is right.