Allegheny County

Some neighbors calling for transparency after cars towed away from Pittsburgh Marathon route

PITTSBURGH — A big straightaway of the Pittsburgh Marathon goes down Carson Street. Then it loops around a small section of the South Side on 24th Street to Sidney Street then over the Birmingham Bridge.  One woman says she didn’t see a single “No Parking” sign posted in that area, which is why she was surprised to find out her car had been towed.

“We would have moved it, if we knew not to park there,” said Natalie Dean.

On Sunday morning, Dean looked outside her house. She saw marathon runners, but she didn’t see her car.

“This was not my first marathon,” said Dean. “Last year, when the marathon came through, we were parked on this street, and they didn’t tow anyone. We were just blocked in during the marathon.  This year, I came outside around 7:30 a.m., and I saw no cars. I didn’t see my car. My first thought was that my car was stolen. I didn’t see any ‘No Parking’ signs, and then when I walked down the street, I looked around the corner. Saw no cars at all. Figured I don’t think they stole everyone’s car so I assumed then that we got towed. I called the towing company. Figured out my car was there and went from there and got my car.”

“Having lived here since 2015, I knew that our car couldn’t be parked on this street because this is the marathon route,” said Josh Teti.  “So our car was already parked away from here, but they started to tow people right at 4 in the morning it seemed like, and they wiped out the whole street.”

“I think that the marathon is a great thing,” said Dean. “I just think in the future, the city needs to post better of no parking.”

Pittsburgh Public Safety says P3R is responsible for posting all the “No Parking” signs throughout the City.  They say they posted signs in this area, but it’s likely people tore down the signs.  Public Safety noted that this happens the most in the South Side and Bloomfield.  And says in the future, people just need to know if their car is parked on the marathon route it will be towed.

“As a runner, you don’t want cars in your path, and they make sure there are no cars,” said Teti.  “But in terms of when they start towing those cars and getting them out of the way obviously you would like some heads up as a resident or as someone who owns a car if you are parked in the marathon course.”

Public Safety says they towed about 27 cars from this area after trying to make contact with the vehicles’ owners. A total of 186 vehicles were towed from the entire marathon route.

In 2019, the City waived fines and paid towing costs for vehicles that were removed earlier than they should have been.  Public Safety says you can dispute the citation with the city, and that’s what Dean and some of her neighbors plan to do.

“It’s upwards of $200 including the towing fee plus the citation so close to 300 dollars,” said Dean.  “I just wanted to get the message out not just for myself but for my neighbors that were also affected by this and just so it doesn’t happen in the future.  Just communicating with the residents and making sure everyone is on the same page with the city.”

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