Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Commission doesn’t yield to parking fine concerns

$50 tickets will still target habitual violators

The city commission voted to maintain higher parking fees for habitual violators in downtown Lawrence. The fee was raised to $50 per ticket for people who receive five or more parking citations in a month.

April 28, 2010


Short-term meters coming downtown

Short-term parking meters will be installed in downtown Lawrence. Current plans call for four 15-minute meters to be added to each block between Sixth and 11th Streets on Massachusetts. Enlarge video

A $50 fine for the most egregious of downtown parking violators is likely to stay on the books, despite concerns from several downtown employees.

A majority of city commissioners at their meeting Tuesday said they were fine sending an expensive message to motorists who frequently disobey downtown parking regulations.

“We don’t have a parking problem. We have a behavior problem here,” said Commissioner Rob Chestnut, who pointed to a new city report that found the 85 people who had received the new $50 fine had received 6,657 parking tickets in the last two years.

Commissioners did not take a vote on the issue Tuesday, but three of the five commissioners said they wanted to keep the habitual parking violator ordinance on the books. They withheld final action to give staff members time to make a modification that would make it easier for individuals to be removed from the habitual parking violator list.

Currently the ordinance requires a person be given one of the $50 tickets any time they receive more than five parking tickets during a 30-day period. The time period is a rolling 30 days, which means one new ticket often can trigger another $50 ticket. Commissioners now are suggesting that people who pay all five of their tickets would have the 30-day time period reset, making it so they would not receive another $50 ticket unless they received five new tickets during a separate 30-day period.

Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Aron Cromwell both said they wanted to consider other changes to relax the $50 provision. But other commissioners said they wanted to keep the pressure on motorists who frequently violate parking law.

A representative for Downtown Lawrence Inc. also urged commissioners to keep the $50 provision.

“It is not fair that a small group of people are making it difficult for everybody else,” said Commissioner Mike Dever.

City commissioners previously had received a petition from about 700 downtown employees who said the $50 fine was unfair.

Commissioners addressed several other downtown-related issues at their Tuesday evening meeting. They:

• Agreed to add four 15-minute parking meters to each block of Massachusetts Street between Sixth and 11th streets. Merchants had asked for the meters so customers could have a quick in-and-out parking spot. The new meters — two on each side of the block — will be painted yellow to alert motorists that they are different than the standard two-hour meters. Commissioners approved the new meters — which will be in place in the next couple of months — on a 4-1 vote. Amyx was opposed.

• Approved an ordinance that will allow street vendors to operate until 2:30 a.m. in downtown. Currently the ordinance requires street vendors to close by 9 p.m. The change came at the request of two Kansas University students who want to operate a late-night food stand.

The pair previously sought approval to locate the stand at the corner of Sixth and New Hampshire streets. A representative of The World Company — which operates the Journal-World and Sunflower Broadband — said the company had several concerns about the location. The pair said upon further review they were more interested in locating the stand at 10th and Massachusetts streets.

Once the ordinance becomes official, the pair — Jason Mandel and Justin Sharkan — will have to apply for the license through the city clerk’s office. They hope to have the stand operational by the end of the school year, but said it likely will not operate during the summer.

• Deferred a request from Louise’s Downtown to add a sidewalk seating area.


Michael Rowland 5 years, 7 months ago

Wonderful! Now if they can do something to make people actually pay their parking tickets.

sherbert 5 years, 7 months ago

Habitual violators should be glad to get a $50 ticket and not get towed. Everyone has to follow the same rules.

somedude20 5 years, 7 months ago

When I decided to take a job in Topeka I knew that meant having to commute 60+ miles a day, pay tolls, spend more on gas, and more wear and tear on my car. I knew that came with the job. Now, when you take a job downtown, you know the deal, limited parking, having to pay the meters, walk a few blocks to work if you can't get a spot, or that you may get tickets.

After a few years, all of the "hardships" of commuting to Topeka, I decided that it was not worth it and found a job in Lawrence.

What I am saying is that if you do not like the "hardships" of working downtown STFU and get another job that does not require you to walk a few blocks, pay meters or fines

Kontum1972 5 years, 7 months ago

just tow the vehicles off...then when they come out and find the ride gone...they call the fuzz and they say it has been towed....then they go to pay the fine...and redeem their vehicle after paying the they wont park illegally any more

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 7 months ago

I suggest the LJW post the names of photos of the "Parking 85." Then we could talk about them openly.

You know, like the names of those who violated the snow removal ordinance. That list was a lot of fun.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 7 months ago

And we could add a stripe to the chevrons every time they receive another $50 ticket.

Or maybe we paint a parking meter on the side of their car ala WWII fighter/bomber kill history.

LA_Ex 5 years, 7 months ago

What the heck is so hard about feeding a meter? What is so hard about paying your parking ticket? If we didn't have the meters, Mass Street would be clogged with employees taking up the prime spots for 4, 6 or 8 hours a day. Cities all across the world use parking meters and the fines are a LOT bigger than here in Larryville. Do we need more parking downtown? Yes. It would be nice if the city explored the idea of underground parking. Can that even be done here? I don't see why not.

theheadturner 5 years, 7 months ago

District Court Issues Opinion on Annexation of 155 Acres Near Farmer’s Turnpike

Chad did you skip this:

The Douglas County District Court rendered its decision concerning the City’s annexation of the 155 acres in the case, James Baggett, et al. v. Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, et al. and ruled in favor of the City and the County. The court found the City and County’s actions were lawful, appropriate and in compliance with the annexation statutes. The opinion is attached. The plaintiffs’ challenge to the city’s rezoning of the 155 acres is pending in district court.

Other Plantiffs besides Jim Baggett Include: Dr. Marguerite Ermeling, Jim Haines, Cynthia Haines, Louie Copt, David Ross, Rick Stein and a few others

Follow the link to the City Manager reports and click: Opinion

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

long term meters @ 25 cents for two and one half hours = a give away

$16.00 per month for a parking pass ($4 per week) is still a deal

uncleandyt 5 years, 7 months ago

There is, indeed, a small group of people making it difficult for everybody else. Fifty dollars is excessive.

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