Airport travelers learn parking rules the hard way - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Airport travelers learn parking rules the hard way

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Only one SUV remained parked on Harley Court on Monday evening and a ticket on the windshield warned that its days are numbered, too. It's the lone survivor of a mass towing performed by the city this past weekend outside Groome Transportation in Columbus.  

Local business owners said that around this time of year, they can expect this road to be so jam-packed with cars. It gets to the point that their driveways are blocked and there isn't enough room for big trucks to get through.

Robert Behar said, "We have seen cars parked for as long as several days before Christmas until after New Year's." 

Sometime before Christmas, the parking lot at Groome Transportation exceeded its capacity and airport travelers were asked to wait for pick up at a location further away. But people who were in a hurry decided to take their chances on the street. Now many will be returning to hundreds of dollars worth of impound fees.

"We didn't call the police and we don't know if anyone else did. We watched [police] mark the cars over a three day period four times. We watched them ticket the cars, and then on Friday evening and Saturday they had the trucks come in to haul off the cars," said Behar. 

Even if there are no signs posted, police have the right to tow cars from public streets in commercial areas if they are left unattended for several days.   

Some drivers actually parked on grass belonging to a nearby private business, and ironically, they were the only ones spared.  Because it was Christmas, the property owner decided not to file a complaint, but the rest of the cars on the public street were fair game for police to remove.  

It's a hard lesson learned by Groome Transportation customers, and it's coming at a high price.

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