Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

April 21, 2014
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(source: Wikimedia Commons)

There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines.

Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city.

I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city.

Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines.

“In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract residents and customers to Detroit-based businesses is an anti-growth strategy.”

The plan, which city officials say would go into effect in early June, would eliminate the city’s $10 early payment reduction, and increase fines for most parking meter violations from $20 to $45. Fines would spike to $65 if they’re not paid off within 30 days.

  • Matt

    I agree that an increase in parking ticket costs should not happen, but for a different reason than the councilman. There are just too many deficiencies in our current meter system… I mean, I see broken and nonworking meters all of the time. And people can get tickets for parking there! That seems more like an “anti-growth strategy” to me…

    How about we fix the current system, and then maybe — maybe — consider a price hike.

  • Colleen

    Anti-growth is an excellent descriptor. What better way to deter people lingering downtown than to increase fines at meters with such short limits that even a decent lunch and a little window shopping exceed their capacity? Higher fines in conjunction with 4+ hour meters would be reasonable, but with 2 hour limits through most of downtown all a higher fine does is sends a signal to get in, do what you came to do, and get out before the meter expires.