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Parents Warned Not to Park at Plaza to Drop Off School Kids

Attorney for Whiteman Plaza calls leaving cars in parking lot a “continuing problem” and warns of a “systematic plan” to tow illegally parked vehicles.

The Fort Lee Public School District recently posted a letter on its website warning parents that they risk being towed if they park at Whiteman Park Plaza when picking up or dropping off their kids at Fort Lee School No. 1.

The letter, which is addressed to the school’s principal, comes from a Fort Lee law firm that represents the plaza, notifying the school, which in turn is urged to notify parents, that they can’t park at Whiteman Plaza if they’re transporting their children to or from school and leaving their vehicles in the parking lot.

“My client has asked me to send this letter to your attention in an effort to address the continuing problem with parents parking and leaving their vehicles in the Shopping Center to either pick up or deliver children to the school,” writes attorney Saverio V. Cereste.

The letter, which is dated Nov. 21, warns that, “a systematic plan to have [illegally parked] vehicles towed” from the shopping center would begin within seven days.

The school is located just around both corners—Hoym Street on one side and Whiteman Street at the other end of the parking lot—from the shopping center on Lemoine Avenue.

William Mays December 04, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Actually, you know what, I'm changing my mind. I still recall the time I almost got towed from the Borders Plaza after I parked there and went off the lot for two minutes before going into Borders. Those assholes charged me $80 for a "towing fee", for pretty much chaining my car up. Which I later found out was completely illegal. If the towing company doing the towing work in Whiteman Plaza is ABC Towing, I wouldn't be surprised, they've already gotten investigated for predatory towing at the Borders Plaza.
William Mays December 04, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I think the owner might not be acting alone here. I'm pretty sure that the towing company has some sort of arrangement with the owner. Chances are that the parents are going to come back and see their car getting towed, and the towing company will extort money out of them so they won't tow their car.
William Mays December 04, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Zach, I can see your point, but as Art said, a lot of parents later go into Starbucks and get a coffee or go to some other store. Towing people's cars will not get them any business. I almost got towed from Border's one time, and I still hesitate before going to that plaza. Its bad PR.
Zachary David December 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I agree it is tricky when someone accomplishes both - picking up a child from school and buying something. Maybe the stores could hand out some kind of disposable pass good for a half hour or an hour that could be put in the car window to notify the tow trucks that this is a valid customer. Of course, that means a return trip back to the car to put the notice in, but it seems like a reasonable compromise.
Fort Lee Citizen December 16, 2012 at 05:18 PM
This is ridiculous! I for one am never shopping at any of the stores in Whiteman Plaza anymore! I cannot believe that in the light of what happened in CT this week, the greedy owners, the towing company, and yes! their lawyers would rather put children at risk over a few minutes of inconvenience. So what if their parking lots get crowded? So what if a few of their clients find it a little difficult to find parking in the morning or mid-afternoon? Don't they realize that by not letting parents park in their lot for a few lousy minutes, the parents will have to keep circling around the block or double-park on nearby streets waiting for their children to come out? How would you feel if, God forbid, one child gets hurt by a car while coming out of school? A tragedy that could have been prevented if that car was safely parked in the lot? Nothing... NOTHING!!... should take a higher priority than the safety of our children!! I assume that many of you have children of your own! Please! think with your brains and hearts! Not with your pockets! We have to stop this cycle of animosity, selfishness, and callousness.

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