City Paper is not for tourists
Fresh off a compelling article about gay adoption in D.C., Petula Dvorak, the Post‘s most uneven columnist, returns today to the topic she loves most but finds the least success with: herself.
Apparently, Dvorak’s car was towed while she tried to pick up furniture from Craigslist, which inspired her to investigate predatory towing in the suburbs. Towing companies have spotters cruising parking lots for violators, even towing one family’s car from a restaurant’s lot while it ate inside. The unjustly towed end up with little else to do but file a complaint and pay tickets of more than $100 to get their cars returned.
But perhaps Dvorak isn’t the ideal test case for predatory towing, since she was actually eligible to be towed (emphasis added):
So we pulled into one of about four empty spaces outside a dry cleaner that was closed, right next to the building entrance. And, yes, there was a sign that said towing was enforced 24 hours.
I stayed with the car until I had to go up to help my husband lug the piece through the lobby. I put a sign on the car windshield written in Magic Marker: “Moving furniture, back in 10 mins, PLEASE don’t tow,” and put my flashers on.
Towed, even after she wrote “PLEASE” in Magic Marker. Dvorak’s got a point, but it’s hard to agree with her when when her argument is essentially a shrug and a plaintive “Come on.”
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