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Parking Illegally Downtown Comes At A Price

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There are expensive parking problems for some people at Monday's motivational seminar at the BOK Center. There are expensive parking problems for some people at Monday's motivational seminar at the BOK Center.
Storey Wrecker towed eight cars from downtown on Monday which is fewer than usual. Storey Wrecker towed eight cars from downtown on Monday which is fewer than usual.
Private property owners can have cars towed off anytime they're parked illegally. Private property owners can have cars towed off anytime they're parked illegally.

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK - There are expensive parking problems for some people at Monday's motivational seminar at the BOK Center.  A handful of those attending had their vehicles towed, after they parked on private property.

With each big event at the arena, there are people coming into downtown who aren't familiar with the one way streets and the parking situation.  Frustration with the traffic led some of them to park wherever they could.

When the traffic backed up coming into downtown Monday morning, somewhere in one of those cars, was Linda Fitzgerald.

"This was totally, totally, totally out of control," said Linda Fitzgerald.

Her free ticket to the motivational seminar at the Arena ended up costing her $157.

She found a parking spot at an empty building just a block from the arena.  But, her car was towed away.

"Where our cars were parked wasn't hurting anybody," said Linda Fitzgerald.

"Those were private property tows, where people were parked illegally on other people's property," said Terry McBeth with Storey Wrecker.

Storey Wrecker towed eight cars from downtown on Monday which is fewer than usual.

Private property owners can have cars towed off anytime they're parked illegally, but for the motivational seminar the city was more forgiving.  They turned off the parking meters and didn't tow any of the cars that were illegally parked on city property.

Some of the cars that were towed were parked close to the arena, but on railroad property.  One was so close to the tracks the train couldn't get by.

While there are plenty of parking spots around the arena, some require a walk, and few of them are free.  Some aren't marked, but most have signs showing the consequences of illegal parking.

Fitzgerald believes someone should have done more to keep traffic moving and help people find a spot where they wouldn't be towed.

"It was a heck of fire drill for Tulsa, but some of us had to pay a big price to pay for this learning curve for the city of Tulsa," said Linda Fitzgerald.

The traffic and parking plan is fluid and under review by the police department, which can make event promoters take extra steps to provide shuttle service or help people find their way.

           

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