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Court Documents Shed Some Light On Condemned Parking Garage

January 12, 2016 Downtown, Featured, Parking 2 Comments

For over a year I’ve been posting about the now-condemned parking garage at Tucker & Locust, it closed in the summer of 2014 for structural repairs:

On March 9, 2015 CENTRAL PARKING SYSTEM OF MO, LLC sued TUCKER PARKING HOLDINGS LLC & TUCKER PARKING EQUITIES LLC, the two entities that own the garage, Case 1522-CC00532.  That same day Tucker et al countersued.

Later that month the court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent contractor Tarlton from removing the shoring and rented equipment with Tucker et al to pay invoices. “Rental, monitoring, and other shoring related expenses” for April 2015 through October 2015 totaled $894,479. Tucker et al didn’t pay and in November the exterior scaffolding was removed, the interior shoring remains to date.

December 2014
December 2014

Last month the court issued a judgment against Tucker et al for the original amount plus an additional $11k in interest for a total of $905,507.05. It’s unclear to me if Tarlton has been fully paid for their more labor-intensive work from July 2014 through March 2015. Regardless, if paid, it was likely in excess of $2,000,000.  Just before the judgment the city filed a motion to intervene, but withdrew it four days later.

Early this month a hearing for February 16th was cancelled. Court records & documents found at Missouri Court’s Case.net.

— Steve Patterson

 

Motorcycle Parking on Sidewalk

September 10, 2015 Featured, Parking, Scooters 7 Comments

Last week I posted about buying a small 49cc Honda Metropolitan scooter a decade ago. Like a bicycle, it wasn’t required to be registered as a vehicle, often overlooked, and could be easily stolen.  As a result, I’d park it on the sidewalk -locked to something if I couldn’t watch it. But I also see very large motorcycles on sidewalks

Motorcycle at bike racks, Central Library
Motorcycle at bike racks, Central Library

Really?

I’m at a loss for why this is parked here, maybe no on-street parking spaces were free?   I’m open to hearing the reasons why registered motorcycles/scooters should be allowed to park on sidewalks.

— Steve Patterson

 

10th & Olive Parking Lot Loses One Entry; Fence Gains Height, Gate

September 8, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Parking Comments Off on 10th & Olive Parking Lot Loses One Entry; Fence Gains Height, Gate

It’s rare to see an owner of one of downtown’s many surface parking lots spend money making improvements, but for nearly a month now that has been the case at 10th & Olive.

Small private parking lot, 10th & Olive, provides parking for commercial spaces in two nearby buildings. 2013 photo.
Small private parking lot, 10th & Olive, provides parking for commercial spaces in two nearby buildings. 2013 photo.
On August 12th I noticed work being done on the surface -- it had been very uneven and not maintained. .
On August 12th I noticed work being done on the surface — it had been very uneven and not maintained. .
By September 1st the iron fence was now taller. The 10th  St entranced was now closed off.
By September 1st the iron fence was now taller. The 10th St entranced was now closed off.
By September 4th they'd cut a pedestrian opening, The Olive St entry will be getting a gate so people needed a pedestrian route to get in/out.
By September 4th they’d cut a pedestrian opening, The Olive St entry will be getting a gate so people needed a pedestrian route to get in/out.

Ideally, at some point in the future, this corner will once again have a multi-story building. In the meantime, these changes are welcomed — especially closing off the 10th Street entrance.  Would be nice to see one additional on-street parking space added where the driveway was.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

Parking Enforcement Officer Kept Putting A Blue Bag In A Vehicle Displaying A Fake Ticket

If you drive & park in an urban area you’ve likely received a parking ticket one time or another. So it’s no surprise that I frequently see tickets on vehicles on my trips to/from the grocery store 7 blocks East of my loft. Earlier this month I noticed the same vehicle parked in the same spot as the day before — with a ticket just like the day before. How unusual.

Thursday August 13th 11:21am, Eastbound Locust between 15th & 16th
Thursday August 13th 11:21am, Eastbound Locust between 15th & 16th

Then I noticed a Parking Enforcement car park behind it. Maybe they’re about to boot it, I thought. I go to the corner and then across the street so I can get a good view. The woman from Parking Enforcement grabbed a blue bag out of the back seat of her official vehicle and walks toward the ticketed vehicle.    I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

She opened the front door, unlocked the other doors, opened the back door and left the blue bag on the rear seat. She locks the doors at the front, returns to her official vehicle, drives off. Huh?

A Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) takes a blue bag from her official vehicle and puts it in the backseat of the ticketed vehicle! Why? What’s in the bag? What started as a curiosity about a vehicle getting ticketed for parking in the exact same spot quickly became a curiosity about the connection between this vehicle, the PEO, and the contents of the blue bag.

Tuesday August 18 1:11pm
Tuesday August 18 1:11pm

I thought by now the ticket had to be a decoy, but I needed proof.

Monday August 24th 12:59pm
Monday August 24th 12:59pm, on the way to the grocery store
At 1:35pm I rolled back the envelope to conform the "ticket" was a blank.
At 1:35pm I rolled back the envelope to conform the “ticket” was a blank.

I’ve documented the fake ticket, but I still needed the bag drop off.

At 3:19pm I'm across the street trying not to look conspicuous -- as well as a shaved head guy in a wheelchair can.
At 3:19pm I’m across the street trying not to look conspicuous — as well as a shaved head guy in a wheelchair can.
At 3:43pm the PEO is getting  a blue bag out of her official vehicle.
At 3:43pm the PEO is getting a blue bag out of her official vehicle.
As before she walks to the other vehicle
As before she walks to the other vehicle
3:44pm she opens the driver's door
3:44pm she opens the driver’s door
With the driver's door still open she puts the blue bag in back. She closes the rear door and locked the doors from the front.
With the driver’s door still open she puts the blue bag in back. She closes the rear door and locked the doors from the front.
3:45pm she's back in her work vehicle about to pull away
3:45pm she’s back in her work vehicle about to pull away

At this point I feel I have enough to blog about my observations and report to Parking Enforcement and Treasurer Tishaura Jones.  I still have unanswered questions: Is this her vehicle? Is she dropping off her gym bag for after work?

Two days later, Wednesday last week, I go to the grocery store and the vehicle isn’t there both times I pass by the space. Five minutes later I go out in front of my building to talk to someone — they’ve left but I can see the vehicle now parked there. I go down and see it has the fake ticket under the wiper — of course it does!

A man approaches me and starts yelling at me.

“Why you fucking with my car?”

“You’d better mind your own fucking business!”

Then something about being in a wheelchair. By this point I’m leaving — I felt threatened and vulnerable. But across Locust at 16th I turned to look back and take one more photo.

Wednesday August 26th at 12:51pm, the vehicle and guy who threatened me in the distance -- he's wearing a red shirt with white shorts & cap. .
Wednesday August 26th at 12:51pm, the vehicle and guy who threatened me in the distance — he’s wearing a red shirt with white shorts & cap. .
Here's a blurry cropped view.
Here’s a blurry cropped view.

Given that I was threatened I called 911, the police looked at my photos to get the vehicle plate and city number on the parking enforcement car. They talked to the PEO supervisor.  I then emailed the head of Parking Enforcement, Tishaura Jones, and her Chief of Staff — a reply said they’d investigate.  At this point I don’t know anymore than you do.

At the very least this guy and the PEO were in cahoots with the fake ticket, but I think there’s much more to the story. When, and if, I find out I’ll let you know.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

Three Blocks Of Washington Ave Diagonal Parking Now Back-In

The planning to reduce travel lanes from four to two on the three blocks of Washington Ave, from 18th to 21th, took place in 2007. The work was done in 2008. I was a paid consultant during the planning phase. At the time I lived in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood and drove a motor scooter. In late 2007 I moved downtown and a few months later I had a stroke.

During the planning phase we debated angled parking — front-in vs.  back-in. In 2007 I argued for front-in angled parking, which is how the street got striped. Since then the block West of Jefferson plus others toward Grand also reduced travel lanes with the addition of angled parking. But these blocks did back-in parking.

Front-in angled parking is much easier when it comes to parking your car but harder to see other motorists, motorcycles, or bicyclists when exiting the space. Last year we picked up friends at their loft at Washington Ave & Jefferson, I was driving and parked in a back-in space. I was nervous. but I did it first try. In hindsight I wish I’d argued for back-in parking initially.

Recently these blocks of Washington Ave were resurfaced and restriped — now with back-in parking.  Let’s take a look:

Looking West from 18th
Looking West from 18th — no parking zone at corner
While most do OK, clearly this person had trouble. Parking enforcement was writing a ticket as I took this pic.
While most do OK, clearly this person had trouble. Parking enforcement was writing a ticket as I took this pic.
The adjacent vehicle also didn't stay within the space
The adjacent vehicle also didn’t stay within the space

Out of 20+ cars only two weren’t within their respective spaces. Again, I wish I’d argued for this initially.  The planning was prior to my being disabled, but I lobbied hard for good pedestrian crossings and disabled parking.

New "Continental" crosswalk at 19th is highly visible. Click image for article on Continental crosswalks.
New “Continental” crosswalk at 19th is highly visible. Click image for article on Continental crosswalks.
Unfortunately the mid-block crosswalks next to disabled parking wasn't restriped.
Unfortunately the mid-block crosswalks next to disabled parking wasn’t restriped.

Two and a half hours later I returned to check out a few more things, the white Ford was in the same spot.

An orange boot was on the front wheel, the Kia had moved over one space and parked correctly. While I was in the area Parking Enforcement came by and removed the boot, the waiting owner then drove off. .
An orange boot was on the front wheel, the Kia had moved over one space and parked correctly. While I was in the area Parking Enforcement came by and removed the boot, the waiting owner then drove off. .

Like most aspects of driving, backing into a parking space just takes practice to master. Occasionally I back into our space in our parking garage, it does get easier. Some day I may drive over to Washington Ave to practice — this wasn’t on my driver’s test in 1983.

— Steve Patterson

 

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