Council proposing push against meter plugging

Council proposing push against meter plugging

The Spokane City Council wants to make sure you get busted if you’re feeding parking meters.

There’s a new push to catch people who stay in spots longer than the two hour limit by going back outside and feeding the meters. New technology may make it easier to enforce that law, which is already on the books, but ignored by a lot of people.

City council members are proposing this idea instead of raising the prices of parking meters.

For the past few months, its been difficult to park downtown. 

“We really want to help those downtown businesses. They had a hard time during construction season,” said District 2 City Council Member Breean Beggs.

That’s why Beggs is hoping to pass a new law that allows parking enforcement officers to use license plate reading technology to identify which cars are illegally parked at the parking meters for longer than two hours.

“In order to increase parking spots for downtown businesses and keep them vibrant,” said Beggs.

But, Penn Fix, who works at Dodson’s Jewelers downtown, says it will do the opposite.

“It’s just another annoyance for people. I think we need to welcome people downtown and giving them tickets is not the best way to do that,” said Fix.

“I just like a welcoming city and I don’t know if it feels real welcoming to have people run back and move it versus maybe just put so more money in,” said Jami Webb, Spokane grandmother and driver.

Wild Dawgs’ bartender, Nick Walker, says it could be a problem for bar goers.

“Because they don’t want to drive home drunk and they Uber home or get a friend and they can’t come back to move their car two hours after the parking meters start, so I think that could lead to higher risks of drunk driving,” Walker said.

Beggs said this issue can be resolved by parking in one of the 90 surface lots. He said parking meters run $1.20 per hour, while the surface lots run $2.00 per hour.

“The only people getting a ticket should be people who know the law and who are trying to beat the system,” said Beggs.

The proposal will be voted Monday night at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Four city council members must approve in order for it to pass.

Beggs says they will give out warning tickets to educate people first, that way the first time if you make a mistake you don’t get a ticket.