I’m sorry this happened. But unless a parking lot has a public parking sign (and/or some way to pay for parking), it seems really clear that it’s not public parking. Whether the business is open or not, the owner has the right to have cars towed. They have no idea if someone is there for 10 minutes or hour and doing a virtuous favor for someone or if they’ve decided to park there long-term or abandon their car. And if one car parks there, it gives indirect permission for others to park there. Then they’ve got cars trespassing on their property and creating precedent for public use. They need to protect their investment. Parking has always been difficult over there, construction or not, which is why I don’t patronize the businesses over there as a rule. You mentioned it was an alley. If it wasn’t in a lot and it’s not a street, then there’s likely no “street parking” in the alley. I used to rent a home with an alley in the back. Was there room for cars to park there? Yes, in certain places. Was it legal for anyone to park there? No. Everything back there was attached to a property and not a public right of way for parking.