I have a few comments for the author of your cover story for August 25, “Das Boot.” He sold his truck, left his plates on it, and then had to pay thousands of dollars in fines for parking tickets that the new owner received. Instead of whining about it he should thank God that parking tickets are all his stupidity is responsible for.

What if that truck with his plates had been used in a drive-by shooting? What if his plates were used on a car by a serial rapist to throw off witnesses? What if his plates were last seen on a truck that hit a little girl and thus delayed time in finding the culprit? Anyone who leaves their plates on a vehicle they no longer own is an idiot (would you give your driver’s license to a stranger?) and has no right to complain about anything. He should consider the fines a stupidity tax and pay them gratefully.

As for all of those people quoted as saying that they need their cars to get to their work, take the bus, that’s what it’s for. I myself lived in Lakeview for many years. When I first moved there I got a few parking tickets too, but like a responsible adult, I paid them. As a responsible adult I figured out the train and bus routes in the area (there are more than enough, with nice new comfy buses too) and then got rid of my car. It was better for the environment. It saved room in the neighborhood. I got to know my neighbors, who also take the bus. I saved time spent looking for parking. I saved oodles of money otherwise spent on parking tickets, insurance, city-sticker fees, plate fees, registration, parking garages, gas, maintenance, etc.

This is CHICAGO. You don’t live in Schaumburg anymore. Despite our city planners’ best efforts at strip-malling the city, you still don’t HAVE to have a car to buy groceries or anything else. Owning a car is a privilege and a responsibility. Personal-safety issues inspired one person to park in front of fire hydrants instead of walking three blocks in the dark. Parking illegally in front of fire hydrants is an irresponsibly selfish act, it shows a total disregard for the safety of every adult and child living on that block. This act should be punished, at the very least with a parking ticket and more preferably with a tow. People who feel unsafe should move to a new neighborhood, not endanger the lives of innocent people.

Chicago resident and driver,

Lisa Aust