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Cars Parked Illegally on Private Property May Soon Get the Boot

By Heather Cherone | November 4, 2013 7:33am
 A booted car sits in a Chicago parking lot.
A booted car sits in a Chicago parking lot.
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flickr/Kim Scarborough

JEFFERSON PARK — Drivers who illegally park their cars in private lots in the 45th Ward could soon find their rides booted, under an ordinance introduced by Ald. John Arena.

The alderman introduced the measure last month at the request of several local businesses that want another option for ridding their parking lots of unauthorized cars, trucks and vans, said Owen Brugh, Arena's chief of staff.

About half of Chicago wards allow businesses to boot vehicles that don't belong on their property rather than forcing them to call a tow truck to haul the offending car away, Brugh said.

"We've asked wards where they are already doing this if they have had issues, and they aren't," Brugh said.

It takes less time to boot a car than to tow it — and it saves the owner of the offending vehicle a lengthy trip to a tow yard, Brugh said.

The $140 fee for removing the boot is regulated by the city. Companies must take cash and credit cards for payment, according to the city ordinance.

At least two signs must be posted informing drivers that improperly parked cars may be booted or towed.