Editorial: Parking fines due update
Downtown Salisbury is long past its horse and buggy days. But its parking ticket system is a vestige of a slower, gentler time.
Park all day in a two-hour on-street slot? Thatíll be a $5 fine.
Rack up numerous tickets and let them gather dust? Still $5 each.
Adding insult to injury: Some of the more notorious offenders are downtown workers hogging spaces intended for business patrons.
Meanwhile, the officer trying to keep track of about 300 tickets per month is using a manual system thatís more suited to a Dickensian counting house than a 21st century city boasting coordinated traffic signals and a fiber-optic network.
Downtown Salisbury Inc., with the backing of local businesses, is recommending the city implement stiffer fines to discourage parking scofflaws, while also modernizing its tracking and billing system. Among its proposal are a $20 late fee after 30 days and a $50 repeat offender fine for anyone with four tickets within a month.
The city should act on these reasonable recommendations. With expanded municipal lots available downtown, thereís no excuse for on-street parkers to log repeated tickets and ignore payment. There also should be zero tolerance for downtown workers who abuse the parking laws. Perhaps the city could consider issuing scarlet tickets for them, as a public mark of parking shame.
And letís be honest: Even though the higher fees arenít intended to enhance the ticket revenue that goes to local schools, the system could use a little extra dough.