By Charles Sercombe
One of Hamtramck’s cherished traditions is coming under scrutiny from the city administration.
Residents who use old chairs, buckets, cones – you name it – to save a parking space are now receiving orange warning notices to stop it or face getting a ticket for littering.
“This is actually in direct response to resident complaints,” said City Clerk August Gitschlag, who was tasked with the job organizing the crackdown and was allowed by the city manager to talk about it.
The city manager has told department heads they may no longer talk to the media without first getting her permission.
Gitschlag said City Manager Katrina Powell, who recently moved here from Florida, noticed how “unsightly it is when people put random trashy items out to mark parking spots.”
The last time city hall attempted to clear the streets of various pieces of junk put out to save parking spaces was when former Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel was here about 15 years ago.
He sent out a crew of DPW workers to drive through the streets in a truck and collect all the pieces of furniture.
There was a backlash, but residents got the message and the practice seemed to largely go away. But in recent years it has come back, and on just about every street you can see an item saving a parking space.
Gitschlag, who lives in Hamtramck, said he can sympathize. Parking, he said, “is a challenge in many densely populated urban environments.”
January 26, 2015 at 12:21 am
Really? we’re trying to keep people from moving out and show them that hamtramck is their home and to do that we’re ticketing them for trying to simply hold their fair share of parking?
some brainstorming suggestions: each home owner is guaranteed a parking space designated as theirs. any extras are first come first serve.
pave empty lots with gravel to make parking areas
January 26, 2015 at 10:30 am
The streets are city or county owned, and any individual claiming personal parking space is stealing from everyone. Yeah, parking is a problem on a lot of streets; that’s life in the big city, folks!
Opening up empty lots for parking is a good idea that should be pursued by the city. Additionally, people should learn to park smart so they don’t take up more space than they need to. A good technique is to use the many handicapped designated spots as benchmarks; if drivers park as close as legally possible to those spots, then subsequent drivers park as close as legally possible to those cars, etc., it will keep wasted parking space to a minimum.
February 4, 2015 at 6:50 am
This is crazy, I’ve lived in Hamtramck for 15 years and I have neighbors when I clean the snow they don’t clean in front of their houses they park Infront of mine because it’s clean.?? Where am I to park? Clean Infront of their house too and then park??
Come up with better ideas instead of ticketing people who clean Infront of their house.
We should ticket u for ticketing us and raising taxes like crazy on us.
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January 9, 2016 at 11:28 am
To many cars for one house.theres is no parking spaces.theres a broken down crown vict and a rv that dont move.im tire of people coming up to my door asking me is that your car in front of my house.
June 3, 2016 at 11:36 am
Ticket us??? What about the people that live in the next block that park in front of our houses and leave their cars two or three days?? I’m looking at two right now, so I have to park in the alley because this car is parked in two spots in front of my house. Now, will I get a ticket for parking in the alley, because some jacka** decides to come in a whole different block and just leave his car??? I’m really fed-up! Everyone on my block except one house, respects the parking in front of their neighbors house. Please tell me what to do about these other people parking down here??? I know it’s city owned property, but knowing the parking situation, I would NOT park my car in the next block and definitely not going to leave it for two or three days.
I pay taxes, and I should be able to park in front of my house, I have one car and its a challenge everyday, because people don’t show respect for their neighbors!!!!! #FedUpStAubinResident
June 7, 2016 at 7:29 am
Because I have one car and my neighbor have 10 cars this means they get to take my one and only parking spot? This is ignorance and should be dealt with. I work 10 hours a day the last thing I want to come home to or have to worry about is a parking spot
December 16, 2016 at 7:52 am
Seems like people have trouble parking all year, they just think they can get away with claiming a spot in the winter. Ticket all these clowns. Nobody deserves any spot.
Clean out a space and maybe help your neighbors do the same, especially if they can’t do it themselves. Then get over it when someone else parks there. Life goes on.
December 16, 2016 at 9:40 am
If code enforcement ticketed the important things, maybe they could use the money to plow. You could use the signs & system for street cleaning to ensure the streets were cleared of cars. Gary’s idea about vacant lots could lighten the load for streets if there was a 10pm-8am rule that the residents cars be removed before the businesses opened.
One of the only houses on our block w.a driveway, not only doesn’t use it, but owns 5 cabs which they leave for months at a time. Having a capable man take spots I shoveled out is disheartening & careless and I don’t blame people for being angry. I do think the city needs to get creative vs reactive & not just keep draining the people who pay taxes to foot the bill for quick fixes after they’ve gotten beyond that point.
December 16, 2016 at 11:32 am
Sounds like a great idea. From what I’ve seen on social media etc there is clearly a large number of people in Hamtramck upset about parking. Ya’ll complained and this is the city’s response. We should be glad our leaders listen to us and take any kind of action.
If parking is the hardest part of your life then start planning accordingly and consider yourself very lucky.
December 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm
This is a huge problem in Hamtramck and I am so glad that the city is finally doing something about it! It’s street parking- first come, first serve. No one owns any spots- regardless of shoveling it or not. I don’t mark my spot because I don’t own it.
My car was vandalized last year when I did move a chair from a spot that was right next to my house! It was very late at night and it was the only open spot on my entire street. It is not the best idea to walk by myself at night.
Way to go August!
December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm
Who would the city issue the ticket to exactly? How would they determine the individual who left “litter” in the street? It’s a public Street you can’t ticket one of the many nearby residents at random for said litter at a particular location without proof. I’d encourage anyone who receives these tickets to challenge them in court. They won’t hold up without proof.
March 12, 2020 at 7:33 am
Easy just hook a chain to your truck and pull them right out of your parking ! You guys have nothing better to do then drive around picking up parking spot savers ? Really ?