City admits mistake in towing cars parked in ride share spots in Brooklyn

COBBLE HILL, Brooklyn (WABC) -- In an Eyewitness News exclusive, New York City transportation officials admitted they were wrong to be towing cars that were parked legally in Brooklyn.

Those cars were in spots that will be illegal to park in two weeks from now, when they will be part of the city's new designated parking spots for car shares.

Crews showed up on Thursday of last week to put up signs in Cobble Hill that set aside parking spaces for ride share companies.

Residents were supposed to have two weeks to adjust to the new rules.

But on Monday: "The DOT car was here and the tow truck came, and they were taken away," said resident Bob Vogel.

"I've parked in this neighborhood for 40 years, there's no reason for me to see if the parking is legal, it's legal," said resident Dorothy Siegel.

Dorothy owns one of the cars that was towed. She never noticed the new sign, she just noticed her car was gone.

"I went to the pound and found out they had booted it and towed it, $185 each, $370, plus $9.21 for the credit card fee. And the ticket was $115," she said.

The DOT released a statement to Eyewitness News admitting the tickets shouldn't have been issued: "We are working with NYPD and the Department of Finance to dismiss any tickets inadvertently issued to vehicles during the two week grace period," the statement said.

But Dorothy's car was towed and she had to pay almost $500 to get it out.

"I'm not a wealthy person, I have a car and park it on the street," she said. "I can't afford a garage."

Most people in the neighborhood respect the idea of ride sharing. What they don't respect is paying over $400 to park in a space they've been parking in legally for 40 years.

"The aggressiveness of the enforcement, I think bothers all of us," said Vogel. "And I can tell you from this block people are very unhappy with losing more spots."

As for the spots reserved for ride share vehicles, they are still empty.

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