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Originally published: 2012-12-10 15:08:16
Last modified: 2012-12-10 15:08:16

Parking a community issue

It was just after dark when members of the ASU Women's Club returned to Boone after a field trip to see the National Gingerbread House Competition in Asheville. They had parked in the Ingles/Highland Commons Shopping Center lot, where they have parked many times before for many years, and where they are frequent customers. Never has there been a lack of parking, and they parked away from the stores,  so not to take up spaces near the shopping area. Under no circumstances would they have parked there if they knew it was not allowed.

The towing company that removed their cars would argue that there is signage that warns against parking there. None of the seven women whose cars were towed had seen or knew of these new signs. Indeed, there are new signs, but not where you can easily see or read them. Everyone who lives here, knows that turning off of highway 105 into Highland Commons requires your full attention to the driveway and not to looking for undersized signage with an ambiguous message. 

The two new signs had  just a phone number to a unfamiliar location. The towing company is down a dark gavel driveway leading to a compound with a "beware of dogs" sign and surrounded by a chain link fence. There is a creepy looking building at the end of an alley where these ladies had to go inside to pay the ransom for their cars through an opening in a thick glass window. Naturally, they were nervous.

Parking is an issue in this community, but it should be handled with courtesy and respect. Any of these ladies could have been your wife, mother, or grandmother. Towing a person's car where there is insufficient warning and demanding $115 cash to get it back could be considered criminal.

Mike Rominger
Vilas