'Taxi zone' signs in downtown lead to confusion, expensive tickets

A Spokane woman said she got a $250 ticket for parking in what she thought was a public spot Downtown.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane woman said she got a $250 ticket for parking in what she thought was a public spot Downtown.

She said the signs on Division near Spokane Falls are confusing and as it turns out she is not the only one who has been ticketed. The city has received a lot of complaints about meters placed there in a taxi zone.

So the issue is before 7:00 p.m. the meters are open to the public and after 7:00 p.m. it turns into a taxi zone. If you park in the space the signs are confusing. One is facing the wrong direction, the one down the road is blocked by a pole.

A woman called KREM 2 after getting a $250 ticket for parking in a taxi zone near Fast Eddy's. The day she parked there, there were two hour free parking signs on the meters. She said she saw those signs but missed the taxi zone one.

On Tuesday, the city removed the free signs from the meters in the taxi zone to help with the confusion. The woman who called us is not the only person who has been ticketed in this taxi zone though. Workers at Fast Eddy's told KREM 2 one of their employees received a ticket for parking in the zone.  Another business owner KREM 2 spoke with said he has received half a dozen complaints from customers reluctant to come back after getting such an expensive ticket for making the mistake. 

In the last year, the City of Spokane said they have written 1,300 tickets to drivers parked in taxi zones each ticket costs a whopping $250. In 2015, the Spokane City Council upped the fine for parking in a taxi zone from $30 to $250. They said it was to keep Lyft and Uber drivers from parking in taxi zones. For this particular area, the city said they plan to change the signs to eliminate any confusion. 

Instead of the two signs on the street, they plan to post a taxi zone warning on each individual meter in the next few weeks.  KREM 2 also learned the ticket against the woman who called us has been dismissed.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story had a headline that incorrectly stated the "free" parking signs were causing the confusion, however it was the existing "taxi zone" signs.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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