Tel Aviv Paints Crosswalk Around Resident's Car at Night and Gives Her a Ticket

Mor Cohen, 25, initially thought she had violated parking laws, until she noticed that the crosswalk was missing color where her tires had been and found white paint in her engine.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
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Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

Mor Cohen, 25, parked her car on Saturday night near her apartment in Tel Aviv’s Florentin neighborhood and it left it there for a few days. She returned to the car on Tuesday and found a NIS 250 ticket on the windshield, issued a day earlier, for parking in a crosswalk. "I didn't recall there being a crosswalk there," Cohen says. "I went half a day thinking I was a terrible driver who had put children in danger."

She returned to the spot, at the corner of Florentin and Nahlat Binyamin streets, a few hours later, and realized that the crosswalk had been painted around her car, imperfectly, while it had been parked.

"They couldn't really spray the paint under the car, there's a blank space there and there are spots of color on the car, there's even paint right inside the engine,” Cohen says, adding, “You can see there are no indications of a crosswalk having been there before."

Neighbors and workers from nearby shops who were interviewed later said they had watched as city workers painted the crosswalk at night, even lying down to paint under Cohen’s car, as far as they could.

"I heard about it happening to other people, but it sounded so absurd," Cohen says. "They can put up a sign, 'crosswalk to be placed here, no parking,’ or at the very least mark to paint the curb red and white’” [where parking is prohibited.

On Wednesday Cohen went to city hall to dispute the ticket. "They said, 'you can appeal, but it won't help.' They promised I would get a response within ten business days," she says.

In a statement, The Tel Aviv municipality said the issue will be reviewed. “If a ticket was issued unjustly the municipality apologizes and the ticket will be canceled."

In February subcontractors for the city painted a handicapped parking spot around a resident’s car and then towed it for being in a handicapped spot illegally.

Fortunately for the owner of the car, Hila Ben Baruch, security cameras recorded the incident. The municipality apologized, canceled the NIS 1,000 ticket and refunded the NIS 350 towing fees, called the incident "a grave and careless mistake" and promised to review its conduct and introduce safeguards to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

A crosswalk in Halhul (Illustrative).Credit: Tess Scheflan
Crosswalk painted under Mor Cohen's car in Tel Aviv in September 2013.Credit: Mor Cohen's Facebook page

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