Drivers Get Surprise Tows Thanks to VP Visit

Drivers say signs put up overnight

Sunday, Jul 3, 2011  |  Updated 4:35 PM CDT
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Drivers Get Surprise Tows Thanks to VP Visit

This is the ticket drivers got, when they went to pick up their cars from the city tow lot.

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Vice President Joe Biden's visit may have impressed many of the attendees at the National Education Association's meeting at McCormick Place, but it also ticked off several drivers who had their cars towed from the Douglas neighborhood, just south of the Stevenson Expressway.

The cars were towed from Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, around 29th Street. At least four different drivers told NBC Chicago they parked on the street Saturday night like usual, and there were no signs telling them they couldn't park. But come Sunday morning, the drivers tell us their cars were towed, and "no parking" signs had been put up.

The ticket one driver received had "special event vice president" hand-written on the ticket.

"When I got up in the morning , I spoke to the police (because) my car wasn't there. And they said it has been towed because you're not supposed to park there. So, I told them there was no sign on the street, and they pointed to a sign that wasn't there last night," the driver said.

All the drivers we spoke with were able to get their cars back after paying a $160 fine.  Some also had to pay cab fare to get to the tow lot.

Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith said signage was put up either Wednesday or Thursday.   He also says signs were checked at the beginning of each shift and replaced if need be.

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