Ann Arbor is known to be tough on illegal parking so tough that the city found it necessary to recently institute a service allowing ticketed drivers to pay fines over the phone with a credit card.
The city collects an annual average of $2.4 million in parking fines, frustrating both new and old Ann Arbor drivers.
“I have a meeting here in 10 minutes and no idea where to put my car because I have never visited before. There is no parking lot for the Union and I feel very inconvenienced having to come here,” Ann Arbor visitor Rayan Goppell said yesterday.
Parking shortages lead many students to invent creative ways to avoid getting ticketed. Many students place a previous ticket on their windshield in the belief that an attendant will not issue a second one. But there is no rule stating a person cannot receive more than one ticket per day.
“I know the parking attendants are really tough so I try to park my car in a residential area without meters. I think it”s working because I have not received a ticket yet,” LSA sophomore Larry Benenson said.
“Obey the rules and you won”t get a ticket,” said Mike Scott, manager of parking and street maintenance for the city of Ann Arbor. “All we”re doing is enforcing the ordinances as they are written. Comply with them.”
Four or more unpaid parking tickets violates city codes and the car, if found and ticketed again, can legally be towed.
“We go to court and get a writ of execution to seize property after four unpaid tickets. In this case, the property is your vehicle,” Scott said.
Trying to bargain with or bribe meter maids to not give tickets is not recommended, Scott said. Putting money in the meter for the time you expect to be away from your car is the easiest and safest way to go home without a ticket.
Even though there is free parking on Sundays and holidays and the Ann Arbor City Council instituted a 10-minute grace period on all expired meters last November, resident Anne Marcum said one meter attendant did not observe the rule.
“I was on my way to my car, approximately two minutes after its meter was supposed to expire, and I had to wait and watch the meter guy write me a ticket. I asked him to give me a break, but he told me he had to write the ticket or he would be in trouble with his supervisor,” Marcum said.
“I”ve gotten three or four tickets for not putting enough money in the meter. I didn”t know there was a 10-minute grace period, though,” LSA sophomore Rich Cantley said.