Wyandotte Tows 53 Vehicles During Storm

From Jan. 2 to Jan. 7, Wyandotte police dished out 165 tickets for parking on city streets.

Over 150 residents in Wyandotte learned the hard way about traffic enforcement during snow emergencies this winter.  

From Jan. 2 to Jan. 7, Wyandotte police issued 165 tickets for parking on city streets.

Police made attempts to contact owners, whose vehicles were registered to the city, by visiting their homes or apartments. But the majority of vehicles were towed after police were unable to find the owners.

Dave Rothermal, the city's sanitation supervisor, said 53 vehicles were towed because of the weather emergency.

Groat Bros. Towing, the contracted towing company for the Wyandotte Police Department, said it boils down to one thing: Common sense.

When a snow emergency has been declared, all vehicles must be removed from the street in order for the DPS to clear them, a company employee said.  

“Most people don’t have driveways and just need a place to park,” the employee said. “We tell people about the emergency lots, where they can find them, etc., but by then it’s usually too late.”

Any vehicle left on the roadway after a snow emergency will be towed at the owner's expense.

“They’re basically abandoned after that because they haven’t moved for 48 hours,” the employee said.

Per City Ordinance Section 2.5a "Abandoned Vehicles": All vehicles must be moved every 48 hours. Failure to remove vehicles will result in towing, at the owner's expense.

We’re not the bad guys, “but when the police call us we still have a job to do,” the company said. 

Wyandotte DPS said once the street has been plowed curb-to-curb residents can resume parking. 

If all residents cooperated it would make the job much easier, Rothermal said. 

The DPS currently has 12 full-time employees working 16 hours a day in the event of a snow emergency.

“As of yesterday, 53 cars were towed, and they’re still towing them,” Rothermal said. "We’re done plowing the roads, but the cars that have been left are going to get ticketed or towed by police for not following the city ordinance."

Rothermal says this is the year police said 'enough is enough.' 

"If it happens again, I hope people respond better. It’s a big help to us because we can get the job done quicker," he said. 

Also, Rothermal asks residents not to throw the snow back onto the streets after shoveling their driveways.  

"This weekend we're supposed to have an inch of rain and all that snow is going to make the roads much more difficult to drive on."

In a recent article, Patch reader April Smith Ciolek advised residents to seek alternative parking.  

"Ask a neighbor if you can share their driveway, park in your alley, team-up with your neighbors and (plow) the snow, (or) have someone follow you to the parking lot and give you a ride back. We have to be responsible for some snow removal on our own. Unfortunately, there is no 100 percent perfect solution. It's winter.”


Mary Kosticky-Moody January 09, 2014 at 06:41 PM
Need to come down Lindbergh!!!!!!!
dennis January 09, 2014 at 07:29 PM
Tell the plow jockeys not to plow the snow from the street back on sidewalks and drives, not fun watching as an hours worth of work is covered back with snow and slush in less than a second as the plow races by.
April Smith Ciolek January 09, 2014 at 08:00 PM
Well, since I was quoted (???), let me also say….knocking on the door before you haul a car away would be nice, the police did that before ticketing people. I know people whose cars were towed, and just a few feet away were cars that clearly sat and didn't get towed.
Pat Clarkson January 10, 2014 at 07:18 AM
I have a driveway and a garage but many people in Wyandotte do not. The City "emergency lots" were not plowed ! Nor were any of the City owned "for sale" property sidewalks. If my car was towed or I was ticketed by the City I would certainly fight these charges in court. The City should be held to the same standards and if they want you to park in the "emergency lots" they really have to have them plowed for you to do that. And the sidewalks should be shoveled, my have to. I have to pay to have mine done and they were done.
Earl of Sandwich January 10, 2014 at 07:33 AM
The two lots by my house were plowed.
Dale Ave-Lallemant January 10, 2014 at 07:35 AM
I'm good with parking in the 'emergency lots', however, they need to be plowed! You could not get into the lot on 15th near Pulaski Park because of the snow.
yanddot January 10, 2014 at 09:09 AM
wyandotte announced that it would be enforcing the ordinance, robo calls were made, and doors were knocked on, what more do you want?? I like seeing my tax dollars at work! Keep up the good work.
Joann Alexanders January 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Considering the people who left cars on the street the DPS did a fantastic job..kudos to you!! I'm glad cars were towed and ticketed...I don't feel it's the job of the police to go door to door, nor have to find the owners. People.. it's your responsibility to know what to do when we get that much snow!! If anything maybe police could drive down the street with a loudspeaker announcing snowplow on the way, if they are so equipped. Or...have a plan where a list of areas where plows are scheduled to go similar to garbage pick up...ex.3rd, 4th, Maple, Elm. Then maybe people would have some idea as to when to expect the plows. One other comment: plow came flying down the street and garbage containers went flying.. They need to SLOW down! Thanks DPW!!!
Gary Gudith January 10, 2014 at 12:49 PM
Agree with Joann, DPS does a great job plowing but the people have to take some responsibility also. Why not ask area churches if their lots could be used as emergency parking lots in exchange for the city plowing the lot. It would help out the city and also the churches( less to pay for snow removal). This would be done ONLY when there was an emergency declared . Be thankful Wyandotte citizens for the services that are provided to you that other cities don't have.
Donald Icenogle January 10, 2014 at 03:19 PM
Just cancel winter and all our problems will be solved.
Brian Melvin January 10, 2014 at 05:12 PM
I put a sign on my car that read, "car is broke, tow it and it's yours!" never was it touched or ticketed, FML.
Larry Carpenter January 12, 2014 at 08:29 AM
Our wonderful city towed my neighbors vehicle away,a young single man not sure if he is employed . He tried to start it but it wouldn't, so they towed it under the pretense of a snow emergency. That's fine now get your butts out here and plow the street, your reason for towing his vehicle was because you could not plow curb to curb,another backwards way of doing things.


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