City responds to complaints with overhaul of parking regulations
Ken Grant once lampooned Wilmington’s parking regulations as confusing and inconsistent. On Friday, he described them as innovative, creative and practical.
Wilmington’s parking regulation renaissance continued this week as the city released a slew of changes that include a discount for people who pay their fines quickly, a streamlined appeals process and warnings for motorists whose vehicles might soon be immobilized by a parking boot.
Grant, who created a website poking fun at the city’s parking regulations in hopes of prompting change, said he’s impressed with the “outside-the-box” solutions the city developed.
“There seems to be a genuine excitement from the city about addressing things in a new and innovative way,” Grant said. “It’s exciting.”
The discount is not available to those who mail in payment.
Wilmington also has implemented a pilot program in which notices left on vehicles will alert owners if they are nearing the $200 threshold to have their cars booted, according to a city news release.
The notices will be left on vehicles when outstanding fines total between $100 and $199. About 33,000 vehicle owners currently fall into that category, the city said.
While Mayor James M. Baker said parking enforcement is necessary to create customer turnover for businesses, to allow residents a place to park near their home and to assure emergency and sanitation vehicles can navigate streets, he noted in a statement that the changes make the system “more transparent and user friendly.”
“Today’s announcements and other parking and ticketing reforms announced previously this year should demonstrate to citizens that their government officials are listening to legitimate concerns and will take action when necessary to reform Wilmington’s parking and ticketing programs,” Baker said.
Appeals of parking tickets have also been operating on a 30-day turnaround, much quicker than a previous 90-day average, the city said. Citizens who protest or appeal a ticket will also receive an acknowledgement letter within a week of appealing as a way to better record the challenge, according to the news release.