St. Paul residents cry foul over tickets, tows on Herschel Stree - KMSP-TV

St. Paul residents cry foul over tickets, tows on Herschel Street

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Photo by Iris Perez Photo by Iris Perez
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

After carefully parking in a way they believed would satisfy winter parking restrictions, at least 10 St. Paul residents woke up to the sounds of their cars being ticketed and towed from Herschel Street.

The residents who were hit with nearly $300 in ticket and tow fees say there was no indication they were parked improperly, and now they're looking for answers -- and a refund.

"It definitely put a damper on my day," Adam MacLeod-Roth admitted.

MacLeod-Roth and Seth Willard told Fox 9 News they felt violated by the late-night tow sweeps.

"It was $220 to get my car back and the $65 fee on top of that ticket," Willard said.

Both say they were certain they were following the winter parking restrictions between Dayton and Marshall avenues to the letter.

"All of the cars on [Herschel] Street were towed last night, and there were five of us," Willard said. "They just cleaned house. They took 'em out. No warning, no ticket in a 6-hour period or anything."

In fact, when MacLeod-Roth realized his car was gone, his first impulse was to call police.

"Came out Saturday morning, my car was gone -- and my first instinct was, 'Well, did my car get stolen?'" he recalled.

The two estimate more than $2,000 in tows took place on Friday and Saturday nights on that short strip of city street alone.

"One of my neighbors told me he heard the tow truck guy came at 2:30 in the morning, which yeah -- that doesn't give any chance for any recourse," MacLeod-Roth said.

Fox 9 News reached out to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, St. Paul Public Works, city towing, City Council members, and even the fire marshal for answers; however, none returned requests for comment. Meanwhile, the city's website lists Herschel Street as a green line on the parking restriction map.

"Which meant 'parking restrictions posted.' So, on the odd side, there are parking restrictions posted -- the temporary signs," MacLeod-Roth explained. "On the even side, where everyone had been parking -- including myself, a few times -- there were no signs."

With the recent warm-up melting a lot of the snow that had been choking narrow corridors, Willard said he thinks it's time the city loosened up.

"If you look at it, it isn't a safety hazard at this point," he said.

The residents to plan to contest their ticket fees and try to recoup their towing costs, and while they hope the city will give them a break, they hope that if nothing else, they'll at least get some clarity.

Winter parking restrictions also remain in place in Minneapolis.

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