- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2003

D.C. officials have increased the cost of city parking fines, and they expect the additional revenue to amount to $8.5 million over the next seven months.
The fine likely to affect most motorists is the one for parking at an expired meter, which will increase from $15 to $25 beginning Saturday. The biggest increase is from $20 to $500 for buses, and commercial and sightseeing vehicles parked in front of homes and other restricted spaces.
The City Council ordered the increases in July. The increases are the first in more than 10 years.
However, the 13 council members will be among those least affected by the changes. They gave themselves immunity for most violations, though they still cannot park along rush-hour routes, in loading and no-parking zones, in front of fire stations and hydrants, and in marked no-parking zones unless they are in front of a building entrance.
Two of the three council members who voted against immunity have received and paid the most tickets. Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, was issued six tickets, and Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat, got two.
The D.C. Department of Public Works' parking enforcement division has hired additional people to bring its staff to 180 officers, said Mary Myers, the agency's spokeswoman.
In 2001, there were 70 parking officers monitoring 15,270 meters and 3,500 blocks without meters, and last year the agency had 168 officers. The City Council has authorized increasing the force to 247.
This is likely to be the third straight year for an increase in the number of tickets written. Two years ago, 1.3 million tickets were written. Last year, 1.67 million were written.
Fines also will increase from $20 to $30 for vehicles parked in front of signs that read "No Parking Anytime" and "No Parking/Public Alley," and for motorists who park in residential areas longer than the posted time.
The D.C. Department of Public Works is one of 20 agencies authorized to write tickets in the District. Other agencies include the U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department.


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