- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2013

D.C. parking enforcement officers stuck 1.9 million tickets on car windshields in fiscal 2012 — a rate of one ticket every eight seconds — raking in $92.6 million in revenue for the city, according to figures from the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

The numbers are slightly lower than fiscal 2011, but AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John B. Townsend II said that does not mean D.C. officials have relented in their practice of taking advantage of the city’s cramped and confusing parking options.

“Each morning, 200,000 vehicles pour into the city — a veritable Venus fly trap for parking tickets and the teeming influx of motorists are its crawling, circling-the-block prey,” Mr. Townsend said. “Day in and day out, drivers engage in the relentless competition to find just one of the city’s coveted 17,000 open on-street metered parking spots.”

Most of the parking tickets range from $25 to $100, the former being just slightly more expensive than what some privately owned parking garages charge for a day of parking.

AAA Mid-Atlantic, which represents millions of drivers in the D.C. area, requested the numbers from the DMV to highlight what it says is a discrepancy in the amount of money motorists forfeit to the city, and how little they get from the District in return.

The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, and during fiscal 2011 the city’s meter maids wrote 2 million tickets worth roughly $92.6 million in revenue, or about $25,000 more than this most recent year.

Along with parking tickets, the District also collects about $7 million from its residential parking permit program, which charges $35 per year per car. All told, Mr. Townsend said the city collects about $140 million in parking-related revenue.

“What are we getting for the $140 million we’re spending,” he asked. “Most cities would take that windfall and provide more parking, but the District says no. They make parking more difficult, more expensive, so they make more money.”

• Meredith Somers can be reached at msomers@washingtontimes.com.

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