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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Cars continue to park along Lakeview's Canal Boulevard, sometimes on sidewalks and grassy areas.

However, the city of New Orleans says its illegal.

Eyewitness News spoke with a nun who initially thought her car was stolen only to learn it had been ticketed and towed.

'I've been parking here for a year and never had any problem. You can see this is how cars park,' said sister Joyce Marie Hanks.

On Tuesday night after a trip to the store, she pulled up to her house, leaving two wheels on the curb just like her neighbors.

'Sister Beth came and she happened to look out the window, and she said, where did you park your car? I said where I usually park, on the street by the tree. She says it's not there,' said Sister Joyce, who assumed her car was stolen and called police.

A neighbor flagged the Lakeview resident down to tell her his story.

'I was about to cut my grass and I saw a guy about to give me a ticket and I told him: can I help you? He was like, I'm about to give these people some tickets,' said James, who lives across the street and didn't want to give his last name.

He spotted a tow truck and was told his cars were parked illegally on the grass. James told the parking control officer they were parked there for his kids safety.

'He said I'm not going to give you a ticket. Not more then five minutes later I see this lady's car being towed. I said, oh my God, he's towing a car and she was parked in the sidewalk where you just seen,' said James.

The fast-moving traffic on Canal Boulevard is why neighbors say they choose to park their cars on the grass or on what appears to be a sidewalk.

'We've had a couple of complaints recently about illegal parking in the area. So we responded to those complaints,' said New Orleans Public Works Director Mark Jernigan.

'The city code basically says you can't park on the sidewalk. It defines the sidewalk from the curbline to the property line to the private property line,' said Jernigan.

'I didn't understand why they towed the car? I could have understood a ticket, and then I would have realized, oh gosh, I can't park here,' said sister Joyce.

They're rules that many drivers either ignore or are totally unaware of. For Sister Joyce, it was an honest mistake that cost $193 in fines.

'Now I know you don't park on that little piece of cement,' said sister Joyce.

The city says no signs are required to enforce this specific parking violation. Sister Joyce says she plans to make an appeal and push for a change in the law.

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