Full letter with links to photos can be found at the end of this post.
Passaic, NJ — Forget to move your car for alternate side parking in Brooklyn, Newark, Monsey or Clifton – you will pay a moderate fine.
Forget to move your car in Passaic – you will pay a fine, have your car towed, run around Passaic for half-a-day, get the run-around at the police station, then pay towing and storage charges.
Recently, the moderator of PassaicJews.com, a popular yahoo group with the Passaic Jewish community, had his car towed as it was parked outside a pediatricians office in Passaic, stranding his mother with his newborn baby. Their crime? Failing to notice an alternate side parking sign 200 feet down the street.
As the moderator of PassaicJews, Michael Feigin was able to immediately post an urgent message on PassaicJews and secured a ride for his mother and newborn daughter. However, Mr. Feigin questions what someone without access to the resources he had would have done.
About a year ago, the Passaic community was up in arms about the alternate side towing, and tried to get the policy changed, without any success. At that time, this reporter was present when Passaic City Councilman Chaim Munk was asked what it would take to stop alternate side parking in Passaic. Councilman Munk’s exact answer was: “when (then mayor) Sammy Rivera stops taking bribes from Raineri’s.”
So we ask the obvious question: Does Counciman Munk’s previous quote mean that the towing will stop when current Acting Mayor Gary Schaer “stops taking bribes from Raineri’s?”
Maybe this incident and this article will cause Acting Mayor Gary Schaer to stop the outrageous towings in Passaic. Dare we hope?
The letter from the PassaicJews moderator, as posted on PassaicJews.com:
Dear PassaicJews members,
Yesterday, my mother borrowed my van with the car seat to take my newborn baby to the doctor. She parked on Pennington Ave in front of a sign that said not to park when it’s snow covered. She is from out of town and didn’t realize she had to walk all the way to the other end of the block to look at a second sign, facing the other direction, which looked identical to the first sign, to realize that it said it was street cleaning day.
The visit took five minutes. Yet, when she came out, the car was gone. My new baby daughter was stranded without a car seat while her mother was busy trying to recover from surgery.
While I have the ability to post my urgent messages directly to hundreds of subscribers on PassaicJews and my baby was soon brought home by a very generous person with a car seat, what if someone doesn’t have these resources?
To make matters worse, when I finally was able to secure another car and go to city hall, I specifically asked a police officer if I could park on a street where the signage was unclear (covered in stickers). He told me, “Well, the sign says no parking, but we really don’t enforce it around here. You’re on your own.” Just in case, I found another parking spot… but as I drove around I saw cars of city employees parked:
– in front of fire hydrants
– in front of crosswalks
– in front of driveways
– in front of within 25 feet of corners
Pictures of all of this with license plates of offenders are online at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PassaicJews/files/Selective_Enforcement_in_Town/
If you have trouble with the link, go to PassaicJews.com and click on “Yahoo Message Group” and then “Files” and then “Selective_Enforcement_In_Town” and then each individual picture.
… and don’t try and get your car back too quickly. The city won’t have the tow report! Missing a document? Go figure out where your car was towed to, get the document, and come back again. Driving someone else’s car? Better have them come to Passaic!
The towing of first time offenders, selective enforcement, and corruption in Passaic must be put to an end.
– Michael J. Feigin, Esq.
Patent and Trademark Attorney, PatentLawNJ.com