Harrisburg shopping center takes hard line on illegal parkers

It seems to be an accepted part of life in Harrisburg: cars parking in
fire lanes, cars double-parked in a lane of traffic. Seems like
generally nothing is done about it.

But that has not been the case in
recent days for one Harrisburg shopping center, which is taking a zero
tolerance approach.

Recent visitors to that center, the Uptown Plaza, have likely noticed something different: there was no one parking in the fire lanes. And one other thing that was noticeable: tow trucks were on patrol.

“The tow trucks wait til they go inside and put their little tow hooks on them and carry them away and they're charging all this money to tow their cars,” said an annoyed Malvern Osborne who noticed what was going on but did not have his car towed.

Harrisburg Police have been complaining about illegal parking for a while now, but in this instance it appears that it's the plaza owner who is taking action. Anyone parked in the fire lane at the Uptown Plaza or not in a designated spot will be towed.

“The last towing company didn't want to take care of it so they brought us out here to take care of it,” said a driver with Mars Towing, who only wanted to be identified as Kevin.

Mars Towing got out here around 10 a.m., and by 4:30 p.m. they had towed 10 cars. The cost to get them back for the owners: $120.

“You get some that, okay, yeah I did wrong. I have no problems paying the money,” said Kevin. “And then we drop the car back down, but you get some that give you an attitude, this is baloney, blah, blah, blah.”

If they get it up on the lift, but don't tow it, you will still have to pay $55 to get your car back. Residents think the tow folks should give drivers a break…or at least a warning.

“Tell them you will be immediately towed if you park here,” said Osborne. “Post something, but just don't snatch their car because some people don't even come up here and not know what's going on.”

“In the area where it's clearly marked, it's a no parking, it's a fire lane…totally understandable,” said Mariah Yancey of Harrisburg. “But as far as us who park in the area where there's no stores, it's not affecting any business operations.”

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