'No parking' sign not same as tow-away
My car was towed from a "No Parking" spot on Mott-Smith Drive between Clio and Nehoa streets on a recent school-day morning. It was not marked as a "Tow Away Zone." The police dispatcher said that a "No Parking" area is understood as a "Tow Away Zone." Is this correct? I didn't leave my car there on purpose, but even so, I thought that any penalty would be a ticket, not a tow. The sign reads "No Parking 6:00-8:30 AM 1:00-2:30 PM School Days Only." Obviously this is related to Roosevelt High School, but what is the purpose of the restriction?
Answer: A "no parking" area is not automatically a tow-away zone.
Police will not have a car towed away if it is not in a tow-away zone unless it is deemed a traffic hazard, said Capt. Frank Fujii, spokesman for the Honolulu Police Department.
"During certain times of the day, because Roosevelt High School is there, that car could have been a traffic hazard," Fujii said of your car. In that case, "it would be a correct tow," he said.
In the absence of a tow-away sign, those decisions are left to the discretion of the officer issuing the parking citation.
"In that case there is no requirement that there be a (tow-away) sign," Fujii said.
He also said the parking citation should indicate why your vehicle was towed.
If it was towed just because it was in a "no parking" zone, Fujii advised contesting the tow in court.
As to why the area is designated "no parking" during school hours, an inspector for the city Department of Transportation Services did a field check and reaffirmed that the restriction was still valid, a spokesman said.
He said vehicles traveling mauka on Mott-Smith Drive "are queuing up on Mott-Smith" near the Nehoa Street intersection.
Because Mott-Smith is only 24 feet wide -- allowing only one lane in each direction -- a parked car would restrict vehicles heading makai, he said.
Q: Every weekday morning at about 5:50, there is water flowing across all Ewa-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway near the Gulick Avenue overpass. It's been going on for months. I tried e-mailing the state Department of Transportation to no avail. Can you get this fixed before a crash happens?
A: You should not be seeing water flowing there anymore.
The problem was a broken sprinkler head that needed to be replaced, said Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa. Highways crew repaired it last week, he said.
Ishikawa said he does not have information on why your complaint was not acted on earlier.
But he said anyone with similar complaints, including potholes and road repairs, should call the Highways Division Oahu District Office at 831-6714.
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