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Tucson raises fines for parking violations

Fees among highest for US cities; charges at UA will remain the same

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Juni Nelson and Juni Nelson and Juni Nelson | The Daily Wildcat Michelle A. Monroe / Arizona Daily WIldcat Two cars parked north of campus on Lee Street and Park Avenue were cited for parking without a permit.

Drivers who frequent downtown and the neighborhoods surrounding the UA campus could be affected by a new $13 increase in fines if they park illegally.

As of July, the new state surcharge, passed by the state Legislature, has made Tucson’s parking fines the third highest in the nation, behind only New York City and San Francisco.

Parking violations, previously $49, are now $62. The $13 increase is also added onto any civil or criminal violations.

“It’s not fair at all,” said Phil Tilson, an environmental sciences senior. “Look at how densely populated and tight New York and San Francisco are. I can understand that, but Tucson barely has a million people.”

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The UA has no current plans to increase its fines for parking violations, said David Heineking, director of Parking and Transportation Services. Fees for common violations such as overtime parking, meter violations and parking without a permit are currently set at $25.

“Overtime parking is pretty common,” Heineking said. “If you’re not sure if you can make it back in 20 minutes, you are probably better off parking at a meter or in a garage.”

Commuters to the UA who park in the neighborhoods surrounding campus such as Sam Hughes, Pie Allen and North University could be fined if they park without a permit on designated streets. Heineking said that there are students who park in the neighborhoods, but PTS tries to discourage it.

“We don’t want to see someone’s driveway get blocked or someone not be able to park at their own house because a student took their spot,” he said.

Sheila Hoban, vice president of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association, said the biggest parking problem Sam Hughes residents face is people blocking their driveways.

“In the last three years, there has been only one game or major event at the UA when my driveway was not blocked,” Hoban said.
Parking on the streets in Sam Hughes and similar neighborhoods without a permit is illegal during the day Monday through Friday, and cars cannot park within five feet of a resident’s driveway.

Katie McDonald, operations manager for Tucson’s parking program, ParkWise, said that people with neighborhood permits should make sure their permit is clearly displayed and not expired. She recommended drivers who frequent downtown use public garages and pay when they return to their vehicles to avoid overtime parking at meters.

“It’s crazy to risk that amount of money for five minutes,” McDonald said.

Of the city’s $13 increase, $8 goes to Arizona’s public safety fund, $4 goes to the citing agency for officer safety equipment and the remaining dollar goes to the justice courts.


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