I know you've seen it and, if you're like me, it drives you CRAZY. A vehicle that sits on a city street, seemingly forever. Many times of the year, you may not even realize it. However, clean pavement under a vehicle surrounded by a snow-covered street, or a windrow of snow around a vehicle, are a couple of dead giveaways the thing has been abandoned on public property. There are two such vehicles within two blocks of my house that haven't moved since before Christmas.

Is it legal? Absolutely not.

According to a post on the Cedar Rapids Police Department Facebook page,

Any vehicle parked upon any street or in the area between the sidewalk and the curb or roadway for a longer period of time than 48 hours shall constitute using the streets for storage and the Police Department may have the vehicle towed.

According to the same post, the city's Municipal Code says,

No person shall use the street or the area between the sidewalk and the curb or roadway for storage purposes, or to park vehicles for the purpose of displaying them for sale, or for the repairing of any vehicles except where it may be necessary to use same for a short time to make emergency repairs, provided the consent of the owner or tenant has been secured.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department gets tons of calls about these, what I call, publicly-stored vehicles. Plenty of those vehicles end up getting towed. It's a costly venture that reaches into the hundreds of dollars. If you need to report a violation, you can call the police department at 286-5491.

Snow is forecast for Cedar Rapids Sunday afternoon and evening. Shortly after, it'll be pretty clear which vehicles, parked on city streets, aren't being used. And the police can expect more calls. I haven't called about the ones in my neighborhood. Yet.

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