Driver Beware: Vehicles Towed From Watertown Parking LotPosted: Updated:
The owner of the parking lot on Arsenal Street has a sign posted saying "Private parking only. Unauthorized vehicles will be towed."
It's hung on the pole right as you drive in and right before you walk across the street.
While the parking lot is for businesses in the plaza owned by Washington Street Properties, hang around a few minutes and you're sure to see people park there and walk to the county buildings.
"I'd say out of the vehicles that are actually in this lot right now probably at least a third of them are not actually at the businesses that are here, but rather across the street," said Allison Carlos, vice president, Washington Street Properties.
This by no means is a new problem. There's just a new tactic to fight it. After putting up signs, Washington Street Properties hired Crossman Towing to handle the vehicles that weren't supposed to be there.
It started with warnings.
"Even though we were just giving them a warning and it was kind of benefiting them, they didn't see it that way. They just saw it as they were being inconvenienced," said Joe Crossman, Crossman Towing.
But then Crossman Towing started taking cars out, keeping a log of everyone it towed, documenting people not patronizing business.
Crossman says in around two months time, they towed 198 vehicles.
"We didn't discriminate. We'll take out a 1992 Honda that's falling apart or a $70,000 Lexus. If you went there and did not patronize the business and you left the area, then you're vehicle was getting towed," he said.
They've since cut back on the amount of towing.
The property owner says the parking problem is still there, but better than it was.
"We're hoping that the signage and additional conversations in the community about the necessity of additional parking will help deter people from continuing to park here," said Carlos.
The lot's managers say they don't mind if you use one of the business there, then use the county building.
It's all a matter of keeping room open for customers.