Parking Fees Increase

By Dean Lee

Before approving upping parking ticket fines across the city $3 Councilmember Terry Tornek suggested earlier this month that the council look at alternative ways of dealing with the parking problem, including, issuing more warnings and cracking down on repeat offenders. The new fines take effect next week.

All of the city’s parking restrictions will go up as part of a stat mandate. An expired meter ticket will go from $42.50 to $45.50 staff said.

“It’s difficult, for me at least, to defend a $45, $50 fee for an expired meter,” Tornek said.

He brought up an idea of increasing the fees for repeat offenders after reading about it in an op-ed article in the Los Angeles Time. He asked city staff to look into the idea.

“The whole parking fee structure doesn’t make any sense,” Tornek said quoting Donald Shoup from the Times. “What we should be doing is discerning between repeat offenders and first time offenders. It’s really the repeat offenders that should be getting whacked.”

He said in certain cities first time offenders get only a warning. He also said this could alleviate some of the complaints about unfair overnight parking tickets.

Fred Dock, director of transportation, said the city currently does not have the capability to track parking offenders.

“We would have to have access to a database that would tell us in real time if a license plate has previously received a citation.” Staff said upgrading the system would cost upwards of $100,000.

This is the second year in a row that state has mandated a parking increase, last year all fines went up $4.50.

Please see this story in the Pasadenan.