I do not profess to know if predatory towing is a significant problem in Asheville, but Jason Sandford’s “No Parking” [Dec. 10 Xpress] would lead me to believe it is a farce propagated by those wanting more parking decks.
The Westphals chose to park in a lot that has conspicuous signage; additionally, Zambra has a sign on their door warning patrons not to use the private lot next door. I walk by this lot fairly frequently, and—as the article states—it doesn’t take much time to find the signs stating the lot is private and which towing company will tow your vehicle. Furthermore, the lot is located across the street from the entrance to the Rankin deck and adjacent to the Civic Center deck, where parking after 7 p.m. is $1 per exit, and before 7 p.m. is free for up to one hour. Most lots in large cities charge upwards of $5 per hour, not per exit.
If I paid the rent or mortgage in a downtown apartment or condo, I would want my property manager or homeowner’s association to be on top of illegal parkers. This story was about putting tourists above the people who live and work here, and for a paper that proclaims local matters, the story is a disappointment.
Where are the photos documenting the missing or broken signage? Were both of the city lots in close proximity full, as well as all of the on-street parking on Lexington, Haywood and around the Grove Arcade? Since the Westphals were drinking that night, why didn’t they use a taxi to begin with? Did their hotel on the outskirts not offer shuttle service, or were they too far out to think about the bus?
Thanks for your generally stellar reporting.
— Jennifer Knox