Easton is considering raising the penalties for some of the cities more serious parking infractions.
City Council on Wednesday night got a preview of a new fine schedule, which raises the fees for several penalties, including parking in front of a fire hydrant and parking in a handicap spot.
Council had gotten a look at the new penalties last year, but had some concern after noticing that it could cost drivers more to park in a reserved space on College Hill than if they’d blocked a fire hydrant.
Under the proposed changes, parking in front of a fire hydrant and parking in a handicap spot become the city's costliest ticket. It's an automatic $100, then $150 after a week, $175 after 30 days and $200 after 60 days.
Under the old system, it was an automatic $50, then $60 after a week, $75 after 30 days and $95 after 60 days.
That was less than parking in one of the three reserved-parking sections on College Hill, which cost $110 after 60 days.
Councilman Jeff Warren proposed another increase: raising the fee for double parking from $25 to $35. In 2012, Warren had lobbied unsuccessfully to fine "lazy double parkers"—people who double park even when spaces are available—$100.
Other proposed increases include:
- Blocking a garage or driveway (from $25 to $50)
- Unlawful storage of vehicles (from $25 to $50)
- Having inoperable or unregistered vehicles (from $25 to $50)
- Improper overnight parking (from $25 to $50)
- Unauthorized parking on private property (from $60 after a week to $75 after a week)
- Parking in the reserved College Hill zones (from $90 after 30 days to $100 after 30 days)
The updated parking code also gives drivers an extra month—90 days instead of 60—to pay their tickets before the matter moves to district court.
City Council is set to vote on the changes next month.
On a related note, city Administrator Glenn Steckman reported that the city towed seven vehicles along Easton's snow emergency routes during the most recent snowstorm. That's down two cars from the last storm.