PORTLAND, Ore. -- Despite the warning signs out since last Wednesday along the curb, dozens of cars were towed away in Northwest Portland as as Leaf Day pickup started Monday morning.

A small army of trucks moved vehicles out, costing their owners $199 dollars for the tow, plus impound costs, and an $85 citation.

Information on Leaf Day pick ups

It’s an annual occurrence that frustrates and angers vehicle owners, but that transportation officials say must be enforced.

(Did you get towed? Email us)

Getting tons of wet leaves off the street is a big job. And in some neighborhoods, parking is at a premium. Cars normally fill the curb sides where the work happens.

That's why the Portland Bureau of Transportation says it must enforce the three-hour no parking rule.

“We’ve done this for many years. We do it reluctantly; we don’t want to tow anyone," said PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera. "So that’s why we send notices, 30,000 leaf day brochures.

In all leaf pickup zones, the city asks people to move their vehicles to make way for a clean sweep. But in 10 zones it's required, PBOT says, at the request of the neighborhoods. And so the streets can be safer.

“Leaves can really create a road hazard for everyone, not just folks in the neighborhood, but anyone passing through," Rivera said. "Because those leaves get slick and they also clog storm drains, cause street flooding and really cause a big mess."

Leaf Day pickup continues through December 20. But over the next two weeks, zones with required no parking times will have pickup days.

If you have questions, call 503-865-LEAF.