Monday, July 6, 2009

What a lucky man

When the doorbell for my apartment rings repeatedly it is usually a longtime friend who wants to be intentionally annoying for a laugh. Otherwise, it means trouble. Being that it rang this morning at 8:05 I immediately knew -- despite still being half asleep -- that someone was prompting me to move my car because it was time for street cleaning.

I threw on shorts and popped my feet into sandals, then ran outside. I squinted in the morning sunlight and looked up and down the street. There was one car to my left and one to my right. Despite their looking nothing alike, I couldn't remember which was mine. Then I looked down to make sure I had put some clothes on.

I ran to my car as a Traffic Department employee stood next to it. He had been persuaded by my neighbors to wait just a minute before writing a ticket. I moved the vehicle across the street and thanked my neighbors. They not only saved me from getting a ticket (How much is that these days?) but from possibly getting towed, which is a hassle and carries a price tag around $150. Man, I lucked out. Later I bought the neighbors a case of beer.


N.starluna said...

Very nice story. Yep. There are some good people here.

James said...

I noticed last time I got towed for street cleaning that only about $40 goes to the city and about $110 goes to Todisco. I live on Meridian St, so it takes approximately 3 minutes for them to tow my car and I picked it up a short time later. After paying for fuel and their employee's wage, they probably made around $100 off my tow.

Living in Eagle Hill and dealing with the horribly dirty streets which street cleaning only marginally seems to help, I have been wondering why they can't make more of the money go directly to pay people (hokies) to clean the streets in my neighborhood - instead of to the all too eager towing company.

I heard that the money from street cleaning tickets goes into the general City budget and is not earmarked for litter removal or prevention. Even if it was earmarked for further cleaning, they said they wouldn't let it be dedicated to the neighborhood from where the car was towed (probably because it would have to go to Back Bay before Eastie saw any).

I would like one of the Mayoral or City Council candidates to jump on this idea because it would not only be logical (those who get towed help pay to keep their own streets clean), but also extremely beneficial to a neighborhood that desperately needs more hokies to help clean the streets.

Murdock said...

I couldn’t agree with James more. I’ve often wondered why Todisco appears to be the primary beneficiary in this ticketing and towing scheme. If the City took a larger cut of total cost (about $150) that would be understandable (but still not right). I wonder if Todisco has an exclusive contract with the City which covers towing in East Boston for street cleaning parking bans and, if so, whether such a contract was put out to bid in a competitive process. In any event, Todisco (or whoever is charged with towing due to parking infractions in East Boston) should be obligated to share a portion those fees with the community which they pillage. Can anyone speak of Todisco’s charitable actions in the neighborhood? Add this one to the list of stories I’d like to see covered in the East Boston Times.

Anonymous said...

How about that the Todisco family has been donating their time and money to just about every non-profit in East Boston for more than 15 years. The YMCA, Social Centers, Savio, Salesians, Central Catholic, Sacred Heart, EB High Sports Teams, etc. At every fundraiser you can find a table full of Todisco family members, not to mention the tickets they help to sell. They also donate 100's of christmas trees to needy families in East Boston every year. Believe me, every business in East Boston could take lessons from the Todisco's on what a GOOD corporate neighbor is.

James said...

I don't think the issue is so much about Todisco itself (or the family) as much as the idea that ANY private company should benefit from a government regulation on private citizens that is essentially punitive in nature. That is corporate welfare or worse.

Besides a small $10 or $20 fee for towing, the approx. $150 for street cleaning should ALL go to cleaning the streets of East Boston, period. It should not go into a general City-wide fund so that rich people downtown can steal it; nor should it go to one family or private company in EB who tow the cars, regardless of how nice they are.

East Boston and especially Eagle Hill is like a war zone filled with debris from the various construction projects and tons of litter. We need the money to clean the streets now.