Fines to increase for parking meter violations in Columbia

Monday, February 7, 2011 | 10:01 p.m. CST; updated 12:09 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

COLUMBIA — Parking scofflaws take note: Starting March 1, the fines for parking meter violations are increasing. 

The Columbia City Council decided Monday night to increase the minimum fines for parking meter violations on a 6-1 vote with Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser dissenting.

The ordinance changes the fine for a parking meter violation from $5 to $10 if paid within 15 days and from $15 to $25 if paid after that time. 

These new fines are on par with meter violation fines in similar college towns such as Ames, Iowa, and Manhattan, Kan., according to data compiled by the city. The fines for meter violations in Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colo., range from $20 to $25. 

Columbia’s new fines are expected to contribute an additional $100,000 to this fiscal year’s revenue.

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Chris Cady February 8, 2011 | 9:50 a.m.

No worries. I can't find a parking space to violate anyway. :-p

(Report Comment)
Channon Haley February 8, 2011 | 10:58 a.m.

Raising the parking fines does not encourage shopping in the district....does not encourage people to go downtown for a leisurely stroll to go window shopping and maybe a cup of coffee. Why bother when you can park for free at the mall and other shopping areas around town? Taking the affordability away from the average person in order to "keep up" with other college towns around the country who are not on par with the same cost of living or expected/anticipated raises for employees. The city council needs to understand that the majority of residents in this town have not had a raise or even a cost of living increase in 3 or more years, however the cost of gasoline, electricity/water/natural gas, insurance, food, and everything else has gone up. Just another way for the city government to raise prices w/o any justification other than a need for revenue. How about you lower some of those "FAT CAT" salaries some of the city government workers earn? Hows that for a start? Watkins is paid more than $150,000 annually plus a car allowance and retirement benefits; there is a great place to start......

(Report Comment)
John M. Nowell, III February 8, 2011 | 11:07 a.m.

Years ago, the council voted no on lengthing the hours of meter enforement. I don't remember their reasons why they voted no. I think that the meter hours should be increased at least to midnight.

The city wouldn't have to add any new vehicles, or hire any full time meter maids. I'm sure there would be plenty of people who would welcome the chance to work part time from 6 p.m. to midnight.

The problem now is that the restaurants, bars and other places open late have an unfair advantage over the 9-5 shops, as parking is free. Drive downtown at 9:00 p.m. and there is nowhere to park on the street. The crowds that use the late parking probably add to the street maintance more that the early shoppers by the litter left after the bars close.

Ninth street has become an auxilary parking lot for the UMC students after dark.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 8, 2011 | 1:29 p.m.

More fees, regulation, and taxes for downtown... Aren't these the same business people who claim that taxes and regulations are bad for business? I bet all the developers whose primary focus is outside of downtown, er, The District, are laughing their butts off. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the ones who have some small interest in The District, but much larger interests elsewhere, are the ones championing the higher fees and taxes. And, of course, the newly approved apartment / retail complex is *just* outside the zone.

I also find it funny that only a couple months ago, the Mayor was looking to raid existing parking revenues. Now, we're needing to jack up the rates. I'm sure he "respectfully disagrees" with the notion that it makes him look incompetent, or worse.

(Report Comment)

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