CLEVELAND - Some visitors to Cleveland who recently stayed at the Aloft Hotel on W. 10th Street said parking signs on W. 9th Street need to be improved.
Ria Greiff, who was visiting Cleveland from Columbus the weekend of April 8, said she thought her car had been stolen when she couldn't find it where she had last parked it. Instead, she found out her car was towed to Cleveland's impound lot for being parked illegally.
Greiff pointed to the lack of "tow away" signs at parking meters on W. 9th Street between Front and Main Street.
Greiff believes her car was not in a "no parking" or "tow away" zone.
"I'm looking at the pole and it's okay to park," said Greiff. "Then I'm looking at the meter, and it's okay to park. I was towed because there was no proper signage."
Greiff said she wasn't alone. She said that when she got to the Cleveland impound lot, there were a dozen other out-of-towners who had their vehicles towed from that same section of W. 9th Street.
"Every single person in the line at the tow place was from out-of-town," explained Greiff. "Even the guy that worked at the tow place said so many people come through and say 'I'm never coming to Cleveland again, because they know this is a rip-off.'"
Greiff said the situation was made even more frustrating when she went to get her car and found out the impound lot would only accept cash if a motorist wanted to contest the ticket and tow.
"The impound lot doesn't have an ATM, and it's cash only," said Greiff. "The fine is $189. Who carries that kind of cash?"
Greiff said she had to call an Uber driver to take her to an ATM more than a mile away.
News 5 contacted Cleveland city hall and Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack about looking into parking signage on W. 9th Street, but so far our calls and emails have not been returned.
News 5 also contacted the Cleveland Clerk of Courts about adding an ATM at the impound lot or allowing drivers to use a debit card when contesting and paying their fine. The clerk's office said it will look into making changes in payment protocol.
Meanwhile, Greiff hopes Cleveland will make some improvements.
"I don't think what the city is doing is good for Cleveland tourism," said Greiff.