Parking changes: wheel boots, meter times and a phone app



Posted on December 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 11:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—City Council leader approved new steps Monday night for drivers who do not pay parking tickets.

Violators with four or more parking tickets can have a wheel boot placed on their vehicle according to the new ordinance. The City plans to buy 15 boots that will cost between $500 and $700 each.

City workers can have a car towed if the driver has eight or more parking tickets. The changes go into effect during the summer of 2014.

Officials said employees would spend the next six months reaching out to people with numerous outstanding tickets. Those drivers will be given them a chance to pay off what they owe.

"These people that are out here, the frequent flyers if you will, again they're feigning their responsibility. They knowingly are violating the law," said Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan.
Leaders also voted to change some parking meter times. Three-hour meters will be changed to four hours. Meanwhile, officials will change 90-minute meters to 30 minutes or two hours. Those changes could begin by the end of the year according to Spokane leaders.

"We're optomistic that this is going to be able to help us collect on some of that money but... that's quite a large amount of tickets to be able to deal with," said Brian Coddington with the City of Spokane.
Plans are in the works for a smartphone app that allows drivers to pay for their meter too. Meters will also start accepting Canadian coins according to the vote.

Records showed there are 85,000 unpaid parking tickets that total to $4 million in revenue the City has not collected in the last ten years. The current team of parking services workers will be trained to use new equipment for enforcement.
WATCH: City leaders consider phasing out free parking on 4 holidays

"It kind of reminds me of those old TV shows where you see cop issues the traffic ticket, guy takes it off the windshield and throws it in the glove box that contains a lot more traffic tickets," said Fagan.

Spokane leaders voted against one parking policy change. Council members decided not to revoke free parking on some holidays.