CHICAGO (CBS) — A parking fiasco at a Pilsen daycare has families fed up.
As CBS 2’s Marybel Gonzlez reported Thursday night, the families say there is nowhere for them to pick up their kids safely without getting ticket after ticket.
A city parking enforcement agent was caught on camera telling Pilsen parent Sol Solis that he is going to purposefully cite people who are dropping off and picking up their children at the El Hogar Del Niño Daycare Center, 1718 S. Loomis St.
Solis: “You’re going to keep focusing during the drop-off hour and the pick-up hour?”
Parking Enforcement Agent: “If I see cars there anytime that I pass by, I’m going to ticket it. But now that you told me when the pickup hours are, now I’m going to ticket it during those hours.”
Solis: “I know this is your job, but just have this ounce of discretion for working parents who have to do this every day.”
Parking Enforcement Agent: “Are you done now?”
Solis: “No! I’m still asking you if you can avoid ticketing parents’ cars.”
Parking Enforcement Agent: “I’m not going to — that’s what I told you.”
Solis: “Oh, so that’s your answer?”
Parking Enforcement Agent: “I told you from the beginning. It’s illegal. I’m not going to.”
Solis took the video after years of complaints from parents like her, who say they are getting tickets outside the daycare on almost a daily basis.
We were there around 5 p.m. when kids are getting picked up. True to his word, that same agent was issuing citations.
And while he had a lot to say to Solis on camera about the issue, he did not want to say anything to us.
“You’re not telling somebody not to do their job,” Solis said. “You just don’t want to penalize parents of a daycare who are lugging multiple toddlers, babies, in and out of daycare – who are literally away from the car a couple minutes.”
“We don’t have the funds,” said parent Sandra Briseño. “Not all of us have the funds to continuously pay for the tickets that we get.”
“My daughter has been here for a year, and I’m sure it’s been going on a lot longer than that,” said parent Anna Hagopian. “It hasn’t changed yet, and it needs to change as soon as possible.”
The center’s director is also now calling on the city to issue permits or a zoning area to prevent this from happening.
“This is not the first time. We’ve been having that parking ticket problem for a long time,” said Rosaura Arellano, interim executive director of El Hogar Del Niño.
“Parents just want to come and drop off their kids. The meter maids just wants to meet their quota and ticket as many cars as they can,” said Solis. “There’s obviously – there’s a conflict, and that’s what we want to resolve.”
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said he is aware of the concerns and has submitted a complaint.
Neither the city nor LAZ – the private ticket company that manages the meters – responded to our request for an interview.
Late Thursday, a spokesperson for Chicago Parking Meters sent a statement. It says in part: “The aide made an unfortunate comment that does not reflect our policies or practices,” and, “Violations are issued based solely on whether a parker has violated City parking ordinances.”