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Added Jun 17 2014

There is a vehicle that has been parked in front of my building for weeks... actually months. The owner has not moved it for street cleanings or after I have called it in 3-times to 311.

During the most recent street cleaning (the car has been sitting there for 3 of them now), the city put a notice on the window that it had seven days before it would be towed. 7-days have come and gone, the car is still there. The notice has been removed though.

Any idea what I should do, the vehicle has been taking up this spot and due to its proximity to a handicap spot, it is taking up two spots, actually. Maybe the car belongs to somebody who works for the city?? It is just strange because I have called it in, so have my neighbors, and nothing has been done.

Any help would be appreciated!!

  • We had the same problem a couple years ago. My boyfriend reported the car through 311 online. I think it asked for detailed info down to the license plate number. The abandoned car was gone within a week.

  • Andrea in Logan Square

    Go here, find the address of reported vehicle. There's a reference number and a note of action taken. Call 3-1-1 and tell them you reported it on whatever the 1st date is and are following up. Emphasize you've submitted it 3 times but nothing's happened. They'll go through more questions, you'll probably have to call back again, but keep following up and poof it's gone. Also, photograph the vehicle and license plate for submitting online.

  • You don't need to do anything. Leave it be.

  • Chris the man, the myth, the legend

    If the sign was taken down it's probably not abandoned. The owner is probably storing it on the street.

  • Start reporting on the will send you a #. Keep doing it and you will have a record. Call you Alderman as well. Good luck...for some reason this takes a long time but it will happen.

  • Melissa Stanley local realtor and business onwer

    Check the city sticker and license plate sticker if either of them are expired it will help prove the car is abandoned, even if it is not. Otherwise I agree you have to be persistent with the city.

  • RubyRed Dancer, Drummer, Cyclist

    Have you put a note on the car to ask the owner to adjust their parking spot? As someone who uses their car only a couple times a month if that, I'm sure my neighbors have often wondered if it's abandoned. I tend to walk or ride my bike when possible, as it's a vehicle more useful for road trips and big hauls than it is for city driving. When I lived in the burbs, the police stuck a big orange "abandoned" sticker on my car because I hadn't moved it in three weeks. Lame!

    Getting the city involved preemptively is crappy, especially since the city stands to profit, while the driver gets screwed. As long as they pay their various fees to drive and park in the city, they have a right to park on their block.

  • I get that Ruby, and I hope my original post doesn't make me sound like some inconsiderate jerk that goes around just trying to get a person's car towed.

    The reason the car was brought to my attention was because the landlord asked if it was mine, as it was in the same spot 3-weeks in a row when he was showing an apartment. With street cleaning coming up he wanted to warn me to move it. I told him it was not mine.

    The first street cleaning came, the car remained and nothing happened. The landlord and a neighbor of mine all agreed it was probably an abandoned vehicle. He asked us both to call it in, along with himself, because 311 responds faster to multiple complaints. (And to be fair, parking can be in issue on my street and I have to drive to Northbrook Monday-Friday, so I am constantly searching for a spot every night.)

    After multiple calls, multiple street cleanings, the car is still there. Not sure who the owner is, not sure if anything will ever be done.

    I am not out to be some vindictive a-hole, but if the car really IS abandoned, I would like to see it gone, freeing up a spot for the neighborhood to use.

  • It probably couldn't hurt to put a note on it while you wait for the city to do something, though, right? If someone took the tow notice sign off, they may get the note as well.

    If there is a way to run the license plate to see if it is registered to an address in the neighborhood, I would do that. (If my recollection serves me right, when I've called to report a car parked in front of my driveway the city ran the plates and determined that the car was registered outside of the neighborhood -- though I am not sure why they did that, I just wanted the thing moved so I could get of out my garage). If it is registered to a neighbor, it's probably not an abandoned car, in which case I probably wouldn't be in as much of a rage to get it moved.

    It could belong to someone who is in the hospital or is incapacitated in some way (for example, a friend of mine recently found himself suffering from a cancer relapse and has been in the hospital unexpectedly for almost 3 weeks--I could see how moving his car might not be on the forefront of his mind -- maybe something similar happened here and someone in his building knows that he is out and took the tow notice off his car for him).

    If the car taking up two spots really bothers you, you could probably find and pay a private tow truck driver that would be willing to move it a couple of feet.


    I recently was told by a police officer if the car appears in good condition-- no flat tires and doesn't look like it was in a hit and run and hidden on the street, they will not touch it. If the owner lives on the block, they will make a home check, inquire about the auto and that's it. They no longer give tickets if you do not move your car for 7 days.

  • RubyRed Dancer, Drummer, Cyclist

    It would be better if there was a more direct way to contact the owner, rather than just hassle the city to tow it. I'd love to see more people solving problems directly rather than getting the city involved. Because when people pay fines, guess who gets the money… not you, the injured party, but the city. And that's just a black hole.

  • Andrea in Logan Square

    Brad, if the vehicle sits without it's new city sticker starting July 1st, I imagine there'll be quicker movement on it. This city loves issuing fines for that kind of thing. So maybe the owner will come back before then (if they haven't already placed the new sticker on the window?) but I doubt it if they don't move the car for street cleaning. Do you know if they getting tickets for this?

    Also, if you own a car but don't drive it regularly, you're doing yourself a disservice by not starting it every so often, which in turn will help you see if someone's left you a note to move it. I no longer drive to work and inquired with Rick at Logan Square Auto Repair how often I should start the engine. He said at least once a week so electrical systems don't drain the battery.

  • Let's dress it up with car markers! Smiley faces and flowers!

  • Kate Dudenaw

    Please leave a note for the owner before having it towed. My car was towed by someone like you while my father was dying of cancer and I was 330 miles away. I wasn't blocking a parking spot or anything of the sort; I was just gone for almost a month.

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