Denver parking giving motorists a break from 10 obscure violations this week

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DENVER -- This week Denver’s parking agents will be giving motorists a break from getting tickets for some ten obscure violations they usually issue.

“We probably issue about 400 to 500 tickets a week,” said Nancy Khun with Parking Management. “But this week, because of our educational outreach program, we will save motorists about $1,200 in fines. This is all being done during Public Works Week to help make sure people know about some violations that are not listed on signage, in the city.”

Tickets for parking too close to alleys and fire hydrants are on the list of little known violations.

So is parking against the flow of traffic or obstructing traffic flow.

There can also be tickets issued for parking on the sidewalk or sidewalk area or parking less than 20 feet away from a crosswalk or stop sign.

Ticket revenue is up some 53 percent from 2009 even as the number of citations grew at a smaller percentage, Khun said.

Last year, collections from tickets and penalties jumped to $30.5 million.

Add in users payments for regular meter time ($11.3 million) and street parking last year brought in $41.8 million, which would be enough cash to fund the city’s entire library system or Technology Department.

There are several reasons why the numbers continue to climb: expansion of smart parking meters which take credit cards, meters replaced kiosks in Cherry Creek North, new meters at Union Station and other areas in the Platte Valley.

Doubling the street-sweeping fines to $50 in 2011 and matching fines for parking in tow-away zones has also generated new dollars for Denver.

License-plate readers have helped increase by 23 percent enforcement of 2-hour parking limits and over-night meters in LoDo have brought in new dollars as well.

Impound boots have been used about 90 times a week—389 times a month—along with a much higher collection rate for unpaid tickets has also resulted in new money for the city.

Officials say 60 percent of citations are paid within 20 days and 88 percent are paid eventually.

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