Steeper parking fines irk downtown Phoenix drivers

[Source: Jason Barry,] — The City of Phoenix has increased the price of its parking fines.  Last year, the city increased the cost of its parking meters from 60 cents an hour to $1.50.  Now, the cost of a parking ticket has nearly doubled.  “I thought it was high to start with,” said Phoenix driver Phil Himel.  “Doubling it seems unfair to the common person that comes down here.”

“I don’t think the punishment fits the crime in this situation,” said Tess Konomos of Flagstaff.  A typical parking ticket in downtown Phoenix used to be $31.  Now it’s $57.  The price for paying that ticket early used to be $16.  Currently it’s $37.

Mark Garcia said he had no idea the tickets were so expensive until he looked at the one on his windshield Wednesday.  The Phoenix man claims he was stuck in court for a traffic ticket and couldn’t come down to feed the meter.  “Especially with layoffs and everything, this is not the time to be raising prices,” Garcia said.  “Especially, with the economy down like this.”

City officials said the decision to raise the parking fines will generate an additonal $600,000, money the city needs to help reduce its budget deficit.  Garcia said it’s just another way to take advantage of folks who drive downtown.  “It’s way too much,” said Garcia. “It’s crazy”  [Note: View the KPHO video segment here.]

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