Parking push not adding up to more tickets

September 28, 2009 7:19:00 PM PDT
Oakland city officials are trying to figure out why the new push to enforce parking laws to bring in more revenue is not adding up to more tickets.

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These days, it seems like just about everyone in Oakland has a story about getting a parking ticket.

"I got ticketed for parking in off-street parking, I guess I stayed there 10 minutes too long," Oakland resident John Beverly said.

"I actualy got a ticket over in the Laurel just pulling over long enough for my wife to get in the car in a bus zone," Oakland resident Saul Stokes said.

Ever since the city cracked down on parking in July as a way of balancing the budget, those unlucky residents on the receiving end say the number of tickets issued has increased astronomically.

But according to new figures released by the city's parking department tickets have actually gone down.

Last July, parking officers issued more than 44,000 parking citations. This July, the month the crackdown began there were 328 fewer tickets. Last August, more than 44,200 citations were issued, this August there were 317 fewer tickets. All of that is with six new parking control officers hired to help carry out the stricter enforcement.

Some city officials say it does not add up.

"Somehow with more people we are issuing less citations, so that means that we have to look at why sometimes our systems are not working the way it's supposed to," Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente said.

The parking director did not want to talk about the discrepancy on camera. He said the majority of those new parking enforcement officers hired this summer have been concentrating on educating the public about the new parking rules, not issuing tickets.

Along Oakland's Grand Avenue, business owners say the parking crackdown is killing their bottom line.

"I've been working here for a year and I never got a ticket and I just went up from zero to three tickets," Michelle Hilton said.

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