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Posted on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Should the city of Ann Arbor wait longer than 48 hours to tow vehicles deemed abandoned?

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Ann Arbor City Council toughened up its city code this week, making it clear it's a towable offense to leave an inoperable vehicle stored on any city street.

Even in front of your own home.

The revisions don't change what was already in place: a rule that says the city can deem any vehicle abandoned and have it impounded if it hasn't moved for 48 hours after being tagged by an officer.

(That warning tag usually comes after a resident has called the city to complain about a car left sitting in the street in his or her neighborhood.)

The 48-hour rule applies even to vehicles that most people probably wouldn't consider abandoned, as one Lexus owner learned the hard way earlier this year.

Mahendra Ramsinghani said both of his family's cars, which he described as "newer looking" and "very clean," were left parked on the street near his house while he and his wife went on vacation. But they were deemed abandoned and towed shortly after he left town.

It cost him $825 to get his cars back.

The ordinance revisions approved by the City Council this week don't do anything to prevent situations like that from happening in the future.


City Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Instead, city officials are reiterating their stance that public streets are no place to be storing private vehicles. To be more clear, the council changed the title of the section about "Abandoned Vehicles" to "Storage of Vehicles" as part of the ordinance revisions.

A story regarding the changes generated more than 100 comments on on Tuesday, including some from people who think the 48-hour limit seems unreasonable.

"Are you kidding me? This is ridiculously not enough time," one commenter wrote. "People can easily not drive their cars for two days in this town. We have a good public transit system. I guess using public transit, being a student or an elderly citizen that can only get around once or twice a week is now a towable offense. These obvious reasons aside, two days is unreasonable." put the question to two of the council members who took a lead in working on the ordinance revisions: Why not increase the rule from 48 hours to something more lenient?

Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, said he's not willing to budge. He maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles.

"The 48-hour rule is straight out of state law," he said. "Many communities such as Chelsea don't even allow any overnight parking on their city streets (i.e., no parking 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.)."

Kunselman said Ann Arbor offers a privilege, but it seems if the city gives an inch, some want a mile. And if the city offers 48 hours, some want a week.

"I don't believe the public should be subsidizing people who chose to own a car but complain that they can't afford or do not want to pay for it to park on private property," Kunselman said.

Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, said she ran into opposition trying to define what was a reasonable time that someone could store a car on the street.

"It's important to keep in mind that some parts of our community cannot handle parked cars, and that other parts can — but maybe the neighbors agree with those members of council who believe cars should be in drives or garages," Briere said.

Briere noted cars can be parked longer than 48 hours on the street without being towed — they just can't be parked longer than 48 hours after they've been tagged by the city.

And that's an important distinction.

"So, a car could be parked on a street for two weeks before someone from the neighborhood reports it," Briere said. "Or a car that no one recognizes could be parked over a weekend — and the neighbors would call it in, assuming it had been stolen and dumped there.

"Or a car could be parked for months before anyone complained. The 48-hour rule counts only after someone contacts the police about the car."

And even though the rule is 48 hours, the city's supervisor of community standards said back in August the city often waits 72 hours before towing as a courtesy.

What do you think? Take the poll.

Related story: The big business of towing: Records show thousands of vehicles per year impounded in Ann Arbor

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Harvey Elliott

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

While I was away for Christmas break, the city towed my car citing Ord 10:136 - Abandoned Vehicles. A 376ft tow to Triangle's yard down the street cost me a total of $367.25 - it's incredible!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - William Shakespeare Life is so unfair: we leave our property sitting unattended for days and it gets taken away by others. What's up with that?! – The Book of the Clueless Ones

Robert Granville

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

I don't have a driveway or a garage attached to my 100 year old home and I can't add one. I'm a renter. I'll remember the name Kunselman when elections roll around. Anybody but Kunselman will be my vote. He's not listening to his constituents at all. As several long time residents have mentioned, this city was built to handle on-street parking in several old neighborhoods. I'm not the only one on my street with no driveway and no garage.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Are you seriously suggesting that your neighbors' needs to live in a community that is aesthetically to their liking is more important than your need to have a decent transportation option? ;)


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

There should be some type of message left on the car alerting individual that the car may be towed. I can't imagine coming home from a short trip of 3-4 days and finding my car gone.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

Kunselman said ....."I don't believe the public should be subsidizing people who chose to own a car but complain that they can't afford or do not want to pay for it to park on private property," I don't believe the public should be subsidizing people who chose to have children but complain that they can't afford or do not want to pay for the kids care themselves.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

Interesting that when you google map Stephen Kunselman's address there are two vehicles parked on the street in front of the house!

An Arborigine

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

What constitutes a disfunctional vehicle? I have a licensed and operational utility truck in front of my house and it may not move for days. It is a Ford F150 consumer vehicle. Should I be checking for tickets and notices regularly?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

Take a pill! either the public "ALLOWS" it or we don't which is it?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

Yes, OR move your car, IT IS NOT YOUR PROPERTY. You people seem to think the street is yours to use as you see fit. IT IS NOT. It is a courtesy to allow on street parking. It is NOT a right to use public property for your own private storage space, The public ALLOWS it as a courtesy, not as a permenant solution to your being too cheap to garage your vehicle at a private lot


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

I can only hope this Ordinance is enforced. I live off of Signature Blvd and we have cars / trucks that do not move for over 2 weeks at a time. Parking is almost impossible to find and all of the violators have garages to park their cars. The problem is that most, if not all of these people use their garages for personal storage because they are too cheap to pay for a monthly rental unit. Thus, they are forced to park wherever they can. Trust me. The cops will be busy on this street as I will be on the phone every night dropping a dime on these people. Use the attached garage that came with the house, instead of taking up space on the street.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

Why don't you park in your garage?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

What people can do is write Mr. Kunselman and indicate their displeasure at this amended ordinance. Then, when the next election comes, vote him out of office. Political arrogance comes out of complacency. Your votes do count. Make a change in the council and you'll make a change in the city. Here's a simple test you should apply at each election. Any candidate that talks about their ability to lead, their leadership, how they are leaders, etc should be avoided like the plague. Those are the candidates that believe they are destined to be YOUR leaders. Look for the candidate that humbly and sincerely speaks of service, servitude and being a public servant. That candidate will set aside his or her own ego and seek to best serve the public weal.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

Want to drive change on this really bizarre ordinance? Monitor your local city council members cars. Or even, the councilcritter in the next ward. Report their vehicles as you see fit, if in your opinion they are in violation. Watch the fun begin!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

Then they would be flagged and have FORTY EIGHT hours to move it. I am betting each and every one of them will move it, which stops the clock, and you will need to call again. Wow, you really have a plan their skippy


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

No car with a current license and registration can be considered abandoned. If a car is towd and these things can be proven, the towing charges should be waived at the lot.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:11 a.m.

The solution to this problem is really easy. All we have to do is place parking meters throughout the city. It will create tons of revenue. It will create jobs for lots of "meter maids". It will get all non-paying cars off the streets. Best of all it will be unambiguous and easy to understand. Hmmm.... I wonder if city hall sees sarcasm here or a huge opportunity?

Detached Observer

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

"Many communities such as Chelsea don't even allow any overnight parking on their city streets." Comparing Ann Arbor to other cities is fatuous, because many other cities have regulations requiring landlords to have onsite spaces equal to the number of people licensed to live at a property.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

So because of a few irresponsible jerks (yes, I read the article earlier this year. And yes, I'd hate to live next to them), so for a few jerks the rest of us have to suffer? So many places have no driveways or allotted parking! A few years ago I was rushed to emergency and landed in the hospital for 10 days. If I had been new in town or didn't have friends/family around my car could have been towed. That would have been devastating to find out as I was released from the hospital, and the money would have been unbearable!!

Dog Guy

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

With today's cost of insurance and registration, calling any vehicle with current plates "abandoned" is a lie told by a thief.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

"He maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles... people who chose to own a car but complain that they can't afford or do not want to pay for it to park on private property." As with almost everything I've ever seen come out of Kunselman's mouth, this is obnoxious question-begging. This whole ordinance came as a result of one family that the neighbors didn't like (in a part of town that's trashy regardless). That family is just going to continue to game the system, they've obviously got it down pat. This is just going to screw over a bunch of innocent people who don't know about such an unreasonable standard. At a minimum, the city needs to post signs saying that cars parked over 48 hours might be subject to towing.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

@rusty shack What about that part of town is trashy (besides the abandoned vehicles with trash in them that sparked this debate and the nearby vacated Georgetown Mall)? How can you call Kunselman obnoxious when making remarks like this yourself? A LOT of people in that area dedicate a lot of their time and finances to make it attractive. It is not a "trashy part of town".

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

Also, when did we start making policy based on what Chelsea does? Isn't that kind of like Brady Hoke defending a call because it's what the coach of Saginaw State would have done?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

If only Mr. Kunselman and Sabra Briere would get their backs up on something that affects more eople in Ann Arbor! Disgusting!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, said he's not willing to budge. He maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles. I do not think people should be storing vehicles in the right of way. BUT as someone that does have a driveway and a two car garage. I think Mr Kunselman's attitude leaves much to be desired! Does he not know that there are areas where parking on the street has ALWAYS been allowed? And that the city fathers of 50 years ago (whom I suspect I would have more respect for than this group of ...) knew that there are places where parking on the street is necessary and does not cause a problem. Of course there will be those that abuse anything (look at the record of abuse of power by this group of ... in city hall!) Do not expect all cars to be in drives or garages unless you are going to change the rules in mid stream! This was not a requirement when many of these homes were built in Ann Arbor. I am all for fair enforcement of the laws and even agree that changes were needed. BUT I am repulsed by the attitude of some members of this group in city hall!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

This is a blessing, really. If it weren't for foolish brouhahas like on-street parking, these minor league elected officials would have time on their hands to meddle in other city activities. And, as this case shows all too clearly, it would get ugly quick.

Stan Hyne

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

They could vote on Arizona's illegal alien law.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

Not too many driveways to be found in Pittsfield Village.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

I assume Councilman Kunselman is referring to MCL 257.252a "Abandoned vehicle...", which says, 2(b) "A vehicle that has remained on public property for a period of not less than 48 hours" ( So, no, the law doesn't really say 48 hours from the second you park the vehicle. The *minimum* time period for them to do something is 48 hours. They are then supposed to tag the vehicle with a note that says when the vehicle may be towed (no indication how long the tag-to-tow period must be.) This is supposed to apply to truly abandoned vehicles, not "my-neighbor-parks-there-and-it-bugs-me" vehicles. If it's unreasonable to park private vehicles on public streets, why do we require the streets be so wide? My street is wide enough to have cars parked on both sides and be able to get a firetruck between them easily. Why does the city require so much roadway width? Really, 48 hours is fine if you don't have a neighbor trying to report perfectly usable vehicles as abandoned just to harass their neighbors.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

You guys need to go back and read the law. That's why I put up a link. It's pretty clear that the law says it has to be there at least 48 hours before they can put on the notice. Clause 2(b) says the at least 48 hours bit, clause 3 says *after* that they can put on the notice: "(3) If a vehicle has remained on public property for the period of time described in subsection (2)(b) so that it qualifies as abandoned, a police agency having jurisdiction over the vehicle or the agency's designee shall determine whether the vehicle has been reported stolen and may affix a written notice to the vehicle. The written notice shall contain the following information:" There is no 48-hour waiting period after that. "(d) The date and time the vehicle may be taken into custody and stored at the owner's expense or scrapped if the vehicle is not removed." No time is given in the law for how long after the notice is put on the window they can tow the car.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:09 a.m.

You don't need an ordinance to give you permission to put a note on a car. "You can't remove it for 48 hours" does NOT mean "you have to wait 48 hours to do anything." It only means "You have to wait 48 hours to remove it."


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

They can put a note on it at any time. They can not REMOVE it until 48 hours


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

Rusty's right. They can't, under that law, do anything to a vehicle that's been there less than 48 hours. Under that law, they could wait a year, but they can't put a notice on it at the 46-hour mark, for example.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

No, it says it can't be LESS than 48 hours. It doesn't say it CAN'T be more.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

"So, no, the law doesn't really say 48 hours from the second you park the vehicle." That's exactly what it's any vehicle that has remained on public property for 48+ hours. They put a note on the car, then come back 2 days later and see if it's still there.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

The council's position is reasonable. Most of the indignant remarks above focus on the notion that we're entitled to the space in front of our property to store cars. We're not! It's a temporary parking space! Those who are angry, just wait until you get to live near a nuisance neighbor who uglifies the neighborhood you pay incredible taxes to live in, by leaving a dilapidated trailer out on the curb. It's an excellent community standard to expect that vehicles be parked only temporarily on the streets. People like the aggrieved Lexus owner can adjust their behavior and properly store their cars during a trip. Then, only true nuisances on the curb will generate complaints and get towed. Complaint-based enforcement is far from arbitrary; it's a courteous way to address violations and an efficient way to direct resources toward real problems. Police can remain above juvenile accusations that they are merely generating revenue for the city. Most neighborhood enforcement is complaint-driven: icy sidewalks, trash in yards, violations of building code, speed traps, unleashed dogs–these are not addressed by local police unless it's a response to a complaint. So, break a reasonable ordinance, expect reasonable people to complain! I used to fume at icy sidewalks and no enforcement, now I make a call! Yep, that was me!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

One of the problems I have with this ordinance is that it doesn't only apply to the public street but to private driveways too. You want to talk false entitlement! Only in Ann Arbor would someone feel entitled to dictate the aesthetics of their neighbor's car parked on private property.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Chimay, you've never lived down the street from a jerk. It happens. Like you, they consider the sidewalks unimportant and minor whereas in my neighborhood they are the way to work for many of us. I am 100% with you on trying to talk directly but the kind of neighbors we're talking about here don't answer their door, they're not in at reasonable hours,


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

There is nothing courteous or reasonable about calling the cops on your neighbor in a case like this before talking to them first. Violence, yes, call the cops. Parking a run-down trailer? Ask them what their plans are for it, and if they don't have any, inform them of the ordinance and let them know you plan to make the call. There is absolutely nothing efficient about having to respond to minor complaints from neighbors about minor things like icy sidewalks. Assume the best about their situation, then ask them to deal with it.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

There is already a blight ordinance that covers dilapidated trailers being left in inappropriate places. That has nothing to do with the rule that any car sitting still for 2 days --a single weekend-- is declared "abandoned.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Maybe, in case someone is out of town.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

If I am annoyed by a car in front of my house, I wait 4 days before i call. The car is tagged and a 3-day clock begins ticking (according to parking people). The next shift that the "marker" works will result in towing. That's 7 or more days (and more than enough time to not be able to do routine lawn and gutter chores). This methodology still nets 4 or 5 vehicles per year... tow truck drivers have to eat , too. Aside: I almost dropped the dime on the police dept's undercover surveillance van a few years ago.

Ron Granger

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

The polite thing to do is offer them coffee and doughnuts. Or have a pizza delivered to the van.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

Just more moronic blather from your ( not my ) elected officals ...too bad burger king isn't around any more ...prince john and his merry band all deserve those cute little paper crowns....


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

There should be a complete elimination of off street parking and have people keep there cars in central locations. This will encourage public transportation and solve the problem of cars being left too long. If this isn't feasible then the city should al least give people an extra 40 minutes and make it 48 hrs and 40 minutes.

Bob W

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

How do "they" determine the vehicle is inoperable just by looking?

Ron Granger

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

What about busy-bodies who anonymously call-in their neighbors' cars when they see them going out of town? Reported on friday, towed on monday. Hope you had a nice trip.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11 p.m.

There is a certain police officer who apparently gets very bored on his days off and calls in vehicles in his neighborhood just for fun...vehicles that are very obviously not abandoned.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

One would think they would have the sense to include language such as "two business days". But of course, this is Ann Arbor after all...

Stan Hyne

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

Maybe if people who don't have a driveway they shouldn't be allowed to own a car. Or maybe there should be a law against having a home if there is not a driveway. Or maybe we should just suck it up and realize sometimes people park in the street.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

Or maybe those without driveways should move their cars OR pay for parking like the rest of us do with driveways or parking permits.I will gladly sell one.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

I choose door #3.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

The problem with making a two week limit is that if we have a large snow or street cleaning, the city cannot clean the street from gutter to gutter without burying cars. Two days, in a snow emergency is too long. All that needs to be done is allow parking on one side of the street one night and the other side the next. That way all cars move everyday. I agree with Mr Kunselman that the streets should not be a long term parking option. I would apply this to the whole city because when the street cleaners went through my street about a month ago, someone parked in front of my house and I spent 2 hours snow shoveling wet leaves out from in front of my house that the street cleaner did not get.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

The city can always declare a snow emergency and the rules change. They can always put up temporary no parking signs to deal with street sweeping as well.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

The problem here is that enforcement is applied arbitrarily, based on another resident "tattletale" reporting a car to be abandoned. The problem is not on-street parking (the alternative is more pavement for driveways / less impervious surface / more water runoff), but rather the abuse of on-street parking. Different neighborhoods have different challenges -- the neighborhood around the "Y" has a different street parking challenge than, say, Landsdowne. What are we really trying to accomplish with this legislation? Is it blight-busting, keeping roadways clear, enriching tow companies, setting neighbors against one another, or something else?

Lets Get Real

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

I have a house with a driveway, and I park in it most of the time. But when I have guests, I typically park in the street and let my guests use the drive. Particularly, during football season, my guests may stay 2 or 3 days, and I may never use my car during that time. Ann Arbor's answer: TOW IT. I am also a senior citizen. I frequently take the bus to avoid downtown parking scarcity woes, parking tickets, and other reasons. My car might not move for a week, sometimes two. Ann Arbor's answer: TOW IT? Get Downtown promotes using public transportation - leave your car at home - to be towed. We are encouraged to be 'green' and conserve fuel - leav your car at home - to be towed. Public resources are adequate, but not comprehensive enough to not need a car. If I need to get to a Dr appointment across town I'm not planning 3 bus changes and an hour and a half to get there in the middle of the winter. I still need a car. To shop for groceries - I still need a car. To visit my family & friends in other cities where trains or planes don't go - I still need a car. But if I go away for a few weeks or don't use my parked car for a few weeks Ann Arbor will joyously TOW IT! How customer friendly. Is that one of the criteria in those surveys that determine the "Best Places to Live"? Probably not. Pat yourself on the back Ann Arbor, but you'll be hard pressed to get my endorsement. Short sighted, thoughtless decisions that solve one problem and create 10 others. Don't budge Mr. Kunselman. Make Ann Arbor one of the worst places to live for seniors, students, environmentalists, or anyone who uses public transportation and leaves their car at home.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

DITTO!! Very well said. I happen to know that Kunselman is trying to please "friends" who are haggling with a neighbor and want a way to "get even".


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

The street is NOT your property, therefore YOU are causing others not to be able to use that spot. YOU are the reason fro this ordinance. Make your TEMPORARY guests use the street and keep your car on your own property. The street is not YOURS. It is for all. You just think it is yours. What is I brought 20 cars and parked in front of your house and left them there for 9 months a year? Now think of a student, who is in school 9 months a year. Doesn't want to pay to park their car. The student finds a street with free parking. Leaves the car there EXCEPT for Xmas break, or when they go on a road trip. That could mean 40k people using the streets as a parking lot. This is not hard to understand people.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

Starting a car just to move it across the street or to another space is bad for the car itself and bad for the environment. Any car produces the most emissions at cold startup. Subsequently failing to properly warm the car up (ie. driving at least 2 miles, in most circumstances, more in extreme cold) wears the internal mechanicals, contributing to even greater emissions. "Lets Get Real" is spot-on. There is no reason to have a bad "rule" force bad action.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

"How hard is it to move the car everyday?" Point being, why should he have to?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

How hard is it to move the car everyday?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Why is it that the City continues to approve residential developments that do not provide sufficient parking for the development. With each new development parking becomes more of a premium within the city.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

"Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, said he's not willing to budge. He maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles." What arrogance!

Barb's Mom

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.

@ johnnya2--you say "Store your vehicle on YOUR property"--I believe Ann Arbor has a law against parking on your own grass also so where do you expect people to park if they don't have a driveway on their property?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

What is arrogant about stating the fact that YOU storing YOUR car on public property is not right. Store your vehicle on YOUR property, not on public property.You do not get to let your dog poop and litter a street because it is public property. Your car should be stored elsewhere PERIOD.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Irrespective of the "on the street" part, part of the law also considers vehicles parked off the street on private property can be towed if sitting for more than 48 hours - that part I find to be a particularly an issue.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.


Peter Eckstein

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

How about different rules for different neighborhoods with different needs? We used to have some residential streets near downtown--and maybe we still do--that required a residential parking sticker to park there at all, but this might be completely unnecessary in other neighborhoods.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

This still does not solve the problem with snow emergencies and street cleaning. Washington east of 7th is a case in point. I used to ride my bike down the street every day to get to work. After large snows, the street was hardly one lane wide because the cars could not park next to the curb due to the snow. This is not right, especially with a street as busy as that.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Beyond ironic that a city that fancies itself so environmentally progressive would punish people for not driving their cars for 48 straight hours.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

Yes, and that the most environmentally friendly motor vehicle is an older one (so the embedded emissions are now low) that is well-maintained and driven rarely. Well maintained meaning it's tuned up (to improve MPG and reduce emissions) and doesn't leak fluids. Requiring people to own only newer vehicles and use them frequently is really the opposite of what we should be doing WRT climate change, though it fits the usual Michigan pattern. The obvious exception is replacing an older vehicle with a newer one to improve mileage. But even there, it's better for the environment to buy used. Everyone forgets about embedded emissions from manufacturing.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

What if someone goes on vacation? need a car sitter now? come on...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Not only in Ann Arbor. In Chelsea you can NEVER park your car on a city street between 3 am and 6 am. In East Lansing it used to be from 2 am - 6 am. I believe the same can be said for Dearborn. If you go on vacation find a place to LEGALLY park your car. Pay for a place to park it. You do not OWN the street in front of your house, It is not designed for yoru car and your car only. IT is designed for TEMPORARY parking. The police are not the ones doing this, it is from neighbors who are sick of not being able to park somewhere for THEIR temporary use and others keeping it all to themselves. I wonder how many people would say just let it sit there, if the car were filled with explosives and left to stand there a week, a month a year? What if a dead body was in a car on the street for that time while the killer decides to pack it up and head out of country. Then you would blame the police for not paying attenton to a neighbors concern.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

Hmmm...Good idea! Only in Ann Arbor though.

Honest Abe

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

"Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, said he's not willing to budge. He maintains the public right-of-way isn't meant for storage of private vehicles." - Last I checked, Stephen Kunselman does not own the streets are roads. He needs to remember we are his boss. They work for us and should not forget that. When it comes down to it, whether it is a state law or local law, the state and cities belong to us. It truly angers me how many rules and laws a person has laid upon them, their vehicles, animals, home, property and public property that we all pay for. The city of Ann Arbor has more rules, regulations, requirements, ordinances and laws than some communist cities in other countries. No joke. Still don't think the city of A2 is ridiculous?? Let's not forget about that stupid idling ordinance that was being pondered.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

I haven't always agreed with you Abe. But you are spot-on in this regard.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

Kunselman said ....."I don't believe the public should be subsidizing people who chose to own a car but complain that they can't afford or do not want to pay for it to park on private property," I happen to be a home owner with a driveway that I can park 3 cars in, plus 1 in the garage. . But this town is full of rental units where landlords don't provide sufficient off street parking. We have a GIANT UNIVERSITY with the transient population that goes along with that. I find Mr Kunselman's response both myopic and condescending. I am saddened to read it. I thought more of him till now.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3 a.m.

"don't the police have more important things to do than following up on angry neighbors" This is the bogus argument heard over and over again., I suppose the police have better things to do than to respond to noise complaints from obnoxious neighbors as well. They have better things to do than to stop speeders. Why stop robbery when you could be stopping a rape or murder. There is no right to park your car on public property just because you want to. If you do not have a parking spot PAY for one. There are private lots all over town. I am sure Craig would sell somebody one of his spaces for the right amount of money. If not, i will see one of the two I have.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:25 a.m.

Agreed. I don't understand how the public is subsidizing the functional car I park in front of my house on a street with plenty of parking and use *maybe* once per week. Thankfully, I don't live in the 3rd ward. Furthermore, don't the police have more important things to do than following up on angry neighbors' calls about cars that are none of their business? I'm talking about functional cars, not vehicles mounted on blocks and held together by rust. Or is this really about generating revenue to pay for police?

Honest Abe

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

I second that motion, Craig.

Honest Abe

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Perhaps the city could offer people a tag or card they can place in a visible spot, so they know it's not abandoned. There are some homes in Ann Arbor that do not even have a driveway, and they must park on the street. A taxpaying resident/homeowner should be able to go on vacation, leave town or whatever case it is, so they can leave there car for a few days without worry. I'm think a tag or card should be able to be obtained, with certain requirements so not just anyone can come park their car and split for weeks on end. The city could make it to where you can get a tag so you can park within a designated radius of where your home is located, the first 7-10 free and you can do this up to 2 times per year. You could have longer time for a small fee, and a maximum amount of time overall. This would thwart people who are willing to pay but 'store' cars on the street plus give others a chance. Either way, something should be worked out. The city collects large property tax already from the owners and for someone to purchase a home, pay their taxes only to have their car towed away because they need to leave town or whatever reason, is absurd. Now, if you're really wanting to stir the pot, we can talk about the ridiculous towing and impound fees that are infamous in Ann Arbor to begin with.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

There is not a single person who pays property tax on the road in front of their home.It is a COURTESY to allow cars to park there. How about this solution. ALL parking on any street in Ann Arbor is now metered. Then you can pay for the spot for the maximum amount of time allowed. If you stay over, you will ticketed just as those who live downtown currently do. Parking on the street is NOT a right.

Bob W

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Good and reasonable suggestions.

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Would SB 1180 have any bearing on this question? I heard some testimony about it but haven't read it. Apparently it places some restrictions on when police can tow a vehicle.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

I just read SB 1180; I don't see anything in it that makes any changes whatsoever to when police can tow a vehicle. Maybe you're thinking of a different bill - SB 1180 pretty much just deals with license plates.