New Possibility in City: Punishment for Parking

According to the new rules laid out by the Mayor’s Office today, you can legally park your car, put your change in those goofy meters downtown, and the city can legally strap a boot on it if you have just two outstanding parking tickets.

Yep, it sure is possible here. Though rumor has it that if you’re in tight with the Mayor, you get a special code to get your tickets taken care of. If only.

The city’s parking authority says there are 10,000 such vehicles cruising around with at least a couple of unpaid tickets. Oh, and they’re jacking up the rates for violations, too. It goes into effect Oct. 1.

The new rules are stricter than they have been. Where you once had to be parked at an expired meter, now any meter maid can run your plates at anytime, find you haven’t paid two tickets, and boot strapping you go. Seems a tad harsh. And check out this quote from PARC’s Cathy Duncan, sounding like a smug schoolteacher admonishing first-graders.

“The boot has been a very effective method of encouraging people to follow the city’s parking laws. However, some people have still not heard the message.”

David Mour, a downtown attorney who filed a lawsuit over the way the city enforces parking violations in 2007, says the new rules are too strict, and says that if the city follows through with its new stricter parking penalties, he’s prepared to challenge the law in court.

“You can be parked legally with time on the meter and still get the boot,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right.”

Here’s my complaint.

The easy answer, of course, is to tell parkers to simply pay the meters. But meters require change, and a lot of people don’t carry around change any more. And there’s no place to get change downtown. I’ve tried. Should I not go to my appointment because I don’t have a quarter? Do you think we’ll be the last metropolitan area to modernize our system?

City governments in other places have recognized this fact, and installed meters that accept plastic. Or there’s a kiosk every 10 spaces or so that can handle a transaction.

14 thoughts on “New Possibility in City: Punishment for Parking

  1. Actually you can use “city” plastic. PARC will sell you a card to be used in the meters. When you return to your car if there is time left you get the credit back on your card. This is only good for people that routinely use meters, Mr. Mour should have one himself.

  2. OK Mr. Cavanaugh, that’s enough from you. What I want to know is why the Parking Authority doesn’t repair its meters. Some of the broken meters I’ve discovered were still broken months later. And God forbid you park at a broken meter – that’s a violation. If the meter won’t take your quarter you’re supposed to get back into the car you’ve just locked, start it up again and do some more sightseeing downtown (or the Douglass Loop or whatever non-downtown neighborhood you happen to be doing business in). All very good for commerce and the environment.

  3. Sorry. Just can’t agree with you on this one. Two outstanding tickets that you haven’t paid on time? Right? Fair game, I say. Your complaint sounds like a teenager being grounded. “Oh, man… no friggin fair!” I just lump you in with all the jerk drivers around town who never use turn signals, run red lights, refuse to wear seat belts or helmets, and make my insurance go up and making walking, biking, and driving a nightmare. You’re in that mindset, dude.

  4. “You can be parked legally with time on the meter and still get the boot,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right.” — Its not right to not pay your tickets!

    BTW I know people in the meter division they repair meters everyday. If you find a broken meter report it.

  5. well, duh, Bill. I did and still do. But the meters dont get fixed. Check out the first meter on Broadway in front of Skull Alley, or the meters across from the front entrance to he Judicial Center.

  6. And God forbid that the reason why you have two parking tickets is because the meter maid was dyslexic on the license plate number while writing the citation. This happened to my daughter, who has received two parking tickets on a license plate she no longer has (she now lives in California).
    I can see giving the boot for five unpaid tickets, but because the system is NOT foolproof, and it has happened that the system has messed up twice on the same license number, booting on just two tickets is way too few.
    If there are going to keep the two-strike rule, then there should at least be a warning on the second ticket “pay this or else you will be booted.”

  7. Per the C-J on Wednesday, “[F]or nearly two years [city officials] have been sending a certified letter notifying violators that they have a fine due.” I’m curious why this wasn’t mentioned in this post.

    In response to the excuse that you don’t have a quarter, that really isn’t the city’s fault. When you go downtown, you know that you will have to pay for parking and it is your responsibility to have the proper change to pay to park at a meter. Alternatively, you can park in a pay lot or garage.

    Or if you are completely averse to paying for a spot, there is plenty of free bike parking available.

  8. I wonder why they can’t link unpaid tickets to car registration renewal and/or driver’s license renewal. Pay up before you can renew. Guess the boot is the next best alternative for turning scofflaws into model citizens.

  9. The certified letter comes after you’re already in fine trouble. If you never saw the notice on your car, you never knew you had a fine to begin with.

    So you should be able to argue out of the late fee unless they can prove you received the notice on your windshield.

  10. I live in an apartment near Iroquois. My tags on my car were 2 weeks expired. I had the tags, just hadn’t put them on yet. I had no idea that 2 weeks would honestly make that big of a deal.PARC for some reason came through our complex that day and ticketed my car for expired tags! I was so mad. I tried to call and talk to them, but they weren’t hearing it. My brother has gone a year without getting new tags and nothing happened to him?!?

  11. I have always been amused that the ratio of meter cop sightings to actual cop sightings downtown is about 10 to 1. Economic development includes providing easy and welcoming access to your downtown.

  12. Just do what a lot of people who aren’t working down there do, just don’t go downtown and if you do, get enough change that they can’t shake you down. At least that way, you don’t end up with a ticket. Spend the money at the garage and pay it up and if you have to use the meters, be ready to start playing the slot machine. In Louisville Metro, its more about revenue enhancement than actually anything else.

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