The city of Cleveland's "weekend parking ban" for the Flats East Bank and Warehouse District was being strongly enforced Sunday evening during Labor Day weekend.
The parking ban, which began in late July, is typically only enforced on Friday and Saturday evenings, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. However, the city extended the hours this holiday weekend and was enforcing Sunday night as well.
Dozens of cars were ticketed and towed along streets in the entertainment districts.
Jeff Derosett with Kuffner Towing said he's been working the detail since the ban began, and estimates between 30 and 40 cars are towed every Friday and every Saturday evening.
"Read the signs. They are bright orange," Derosett said. "I've seen people pull up, park, look at the signs and say, 'Eh,' and then keep going."
Derosett's advice -- pay attention to the signs, because enforcement is no joke.
"We are ticketing, they are towing, and the city is making a pretty penny," Derosett said. "I mean, if they say don't park -- don't park. It's cheaper to pay $10 in a lot than $200 to the city."
According to the City of Cleveland, the ban is in place because streets in the Flats and Warehouse District become too crowded on weekend evenings.
"Vehicles parked along the curb lane contribute to overcrowding and adversely affect the flow of traffic. In addition, overcrowded roadways make emergency vehicle transit (Police, Fire, EMS) very difficult, compromising the ability of first responders to respond to emergency situations," the city said in a statement.
The ban has been a bit of a learning curve for people who work downtown, too.
Barley House bar manager David Fassbender said a couple of his employees have had their cars towed recently.
"It's a little harder coming down to work, to be able to find spots," Fassbender said. "Used to be a lot more convenient for us, now every lot, you gotta pay to park down here."
There are several paid parking lots downtown, most charging between $10 and $15 on an average weekend evening.
Cars get ticketed and then towed to the Cleveland Impound Lot on 3040 Quigley Rd.
It costs, on average, about $200 to get your vehicle back.
Those with all-wheel drive, tow drivers said, cost extra because they have to use a dolly to keep from damaging them.
Restrictions occur on these specific streets:
· Old River Road from Main Avenue to St. Clair Avenue
· West 10th Street from Main Avenue to St. Clair Avenue
· West 9th Street from Front Street to Superior Avenue
· West 6th Street from Lakeside Avenue to Superior Avenue
· West 3rd Street from Lakeside Avenue to Superior Avenue
· Saint Clair Avenue from West 9th Street to West 3rd Street
· Lakeside Avenue from West 6th Street to West 3rd Street