Towing costs excessive

We hope we’re not the only ones who find a $320 towing bill for spending an hour in a Nashua parking lot on a Saturday evening excessive.

That is just what happened to Nashua resident Chris Pierdominici last week. According to his post on Facebook, Pierdominici had gone to dinner at The Peddler’s Daughter on Main Street on a Saturday night and parked in a nearby lot. He said he was unaware he had parked in a private lot because he did not see the “No Parking” signs, due to the fact that they were obscured by other vehicles.

Pierdominici, who said he was only gone for an hour, came back to find that his car had been towed from the lot – all the way to Massachusetts.

After consulting with the police, he was able to make his way to the towing company, which charged him $320, cash-only. His bill included a $145 towing charge, $60 skate dolly fee, $60 snatch block fee and a $55 gate fee, all of which line up with the city’s agreement with the companies it uses for towing.

As it turns out, none of the actions taken by either the property owner or the towing company are against the law.

Mayor Jim Donchess and city leaders are aware of complaints about the problem with certain parking lots. However, city officials said there is very little they can do regarding the private lots.

Kim Kleiner, the mayor’s chief of staff, said the problem with certain lots is the confusion regarding which spots are public and which spots are private.

Although this practice of towing someone’s vehicle at a cost of $320 to another state – after spending a mere hour in the space on a Saturday night – appears to be legal, it does not seem to fit the idea of Nashua being a “Welcoming City.”

If city leaders want to encourage customers to patronize downtown businesses, particularly in the evenings and/or weekends, they need to find a solution to this problem. Downtown businesses already have enough trouble competing with shops and restaurants that are located away from the downtown, in areas with abundant free parking.