Chicago Kafkaesque system for moving vehicles to clear space for municipal work or TV/movie production is not working as advertised. In theory, it's straightforward: the city tows someone's car to an out-of-the-way parking space to make room and enters the new location into a database within 20 minutes of the move. Drivers looking for their cars can call 311 or go online to find out if their car has been relocated. In practice, it's typical big-city municipal Hell.

The problem, says the Chicago Tribune, is that the relocation info doesn't always make it into the system in a timely manner. Not only can it take more than 20 minutes, but some residents didn't realize the city had moved their cars until the Tribune called them and told them, weeks later. The city of Chicago says that it posts notices giving residents at least 24 hours warning when possible, but sometimes an emergency means that there's no warning.

Some residents report instances of no notice being given even when there should have been. As a result, there are owners who have reported their cars stolen when, in fact, they were merely relocated and never properly recorded by city employees. After filing police reports, canceling insurance, etc., their cars are eventually "found" and the mix-ups are cleared up. Sure, the car owners are happy to get their rides back, but there has to be a better way to handle the matter of vehicle relocation, as the reporting process is, at best, inconsistent.

The Tribune says 17,000 cars were moved last year. How many of those were lost in the system is not known. Chicago officials say they plan to provide car owners with additional advance notice via posted signs and an early warning system that details when work is scheduled to occur in the city's neighborhoods. For the moment, however, know that if your car goes missing in The Windy City, it might not be because of bad guys.

What's your take on Chicago's policy? Keep reading to weigh in on the poll we've posted below.
Would you be upset if Chicago moved your car without asking?
Yes 2713 (88.3%)
No 85 (2.8%)
I'd get over it as long as the city actually told me 273 (8.9%)


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  • 90 Comments
      porsha993
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, I'd be upset because it is theft. Just because it's the goverment doing it does not make it legal.
        Travis Miles
        • 2 Years Ago
        @porsha993
        When the city owns the streets everyone parks on and they put up Big Bright Orange signs with Massive Bold Lettering saying don't park your car here on this day it is legal.
          Space
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Travis Miles
          well really don't the citizens of the stupid city pay for the stupid streets? I'd pay back the officials with tons of letters and by voting them out and maybe even out right suing them.
      Nathan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even if the system worked perfectly, who in their right mind would be ok with some union thugs dragging their nice car around the city? Plenty of damage can occur to a car during towing, and you can bet no one will be held accountable should damage occur.
      zapdog4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chicago... Bang Bang!.... The most corrupt city in America, being run by Rahm -the-Bomb, and we are supposed to be surprised how???
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      So it is OK for the city to take someones property without there knowledge and maybe damage? Kinda of sounds like theft to me.
      jiisd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey its Chicago and we all know who came from there!!!! LOL
        Paul
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jiisd
        I can tell you are so proud of that !!!!! LOL
      DC Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd lose my sh*t if they did this to me. My car got towed from my old apartment on the first night I moved in because they never gave me a parking pass for the spot I paid for. The tow company damaged my front quarter panel. When I confronted them they said that it was pre-existing damage. I got the cops involved and the tow company said that I made a huge mistake messing with them because they take pictures of the cars just before they tow them. I didn't back down, and amazingly they just couldn't seem to find the picture they took of my car that night. Was I really going to spend 3 months of energy and legal BS to get my car fixed? No. So as a resiult I ended up having to pay my deductible to repair my car and moving on with life. No one except me gave a f*ck. It pisses me off all over again just by typing about it. GGGRRRRRRRRRAH!
        Rishbh Rana
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DC Mike
        dude i would be pissed, its funny cause i have been in the same situation, but i stuck it through and the towing company ended up reimbursing me for my deductible, but i guess i was a luck case or something. as far as the article goes no way in hell. these people dont take care of your cars and you get it back with your front bumper ripped off who is gonna be responsible?
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DC Mike
        Tow companies are all thieves. ALL. OF. THEM. No exceptions.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would be extremely upset if the city of Chicago moved my car. Mostly because I live in Australia. :P
      speddedler
      • 2 Years Ago
      How often to people's cars get damaged as a result of a tow. Like if you tow a Subaru that's in park, something ****** up has to happen to the transmission, right?
        te.me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @speddedler
        I was just wondering the same thing when reading this...any Subaru or other AWD vehicle with a system similar to Subaru or a 4WD vehicle with a locked diff I think it would most certainly be damaged with the vehicle in Park. I have a Subaru and was just reading the manual for something else, but I read the section for towing and such as a flipped through, and if I remember correctly, it read that you could only move the vehicle for a limited distance at a very low speed in neutral with all four wheels on the ground. I don't think it said you could move it with just two wheels up at all. They pretty much have to be on a flat bed.
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Next up, forcing you out of your home so they can film a movie about a ghost town. Heaven forbid we inconvenience the movie studios.....
      gaiaone
      • 2 Years Ago
      The City took something that didn't belong to them. I don't care if they moved it 5 feet or 5 miles. I take them to court.
      BRYANT
      • 2 Years Ago
      To add to my previous comment - if your car is moved a mile or so how do you get to it if you can even find it? Plenty of people can't walk two blocks, let alone a much more? In Chicago, in the snow, at below zero temperatures, with a 40 mile and hour wind - really?
      abourge458
      • 2 Years Ago
      My city did a lot of work on my street a while back. At first they hired extra cops to go door to door A FEW HOURS before the work, to inform the car owners. Problem was... Many car owners had car pooled or whatever, and were not home. BUT... They learned! Now, ( Other than emergencies of course) A crew comes around 2 or 3 DAYS before, and sets up orange barrels on the sidewalks with signs indicating when the streets need to be clear. You listening Chicago ?
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