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Fines increase under new parking plan

Updated: June 13, 2013 7:06PM

AURORA — As the city’s new downtown parking plan goes into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, downtown parkers should be observant of new posted parking time limits or be prepared to pay a heftier fine.

Under the new parking plan which included the removal of parking meters, a first parking ticket is $5. Previously, a first parking ticket would be a free “warning” ticket.

A second and third ticket accumulated in one year is also $5 under the new plan; a fourth and fifth ticket is $15; sixth through ninth tickets are $25; 10-14 are $45; 15-19 are $70; and a 20th ticket and beyond are $95 each.

Parking is free within the posted allotted amount of time, which is marked with street signs.

Parking patrons are ticketed when their vehicle is parked in a downtown spot longer than the posted amount of time allowed. Parking fines increase if they are not paid by the posted due date on the ticket.

Meter enforcement officers will be, and have been, chalking tires until electronic license plate readers are fully operational. City spokesman Dan Ferrelli said the city anticipates the new equipment to be in use by the end of June.

For now, one enforcement officer will be working during the enforcement hours.

Ferrelli said the six to eight signs post on every block and clear signage on the parking lot makes it easy to ascertain what time limits apply starting Tuesday. Because of that, there will be no “grace period.” Parkers violating the new rules will be ticketed immediately.

The city is increasing on-street enforcement hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Off-street parking lots will be enforced 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Downtown is divided into parking zones under the new plan — platinum, gold, silver, bronze and mercury — each indicating the amount of time a car can be parking at the location before it is fined.

In downtown street parking zones, parking under the plan in effect Tuesday is 90 minutes in a platinum zone; two hours in a gold zone; two hours in a silver zone; three hours in a bronze zone and five hours in a mercury zone.

In downtown parking lots, parking is two hours in a gold zone; three hours in a silver zone; six hours in a bronze zone and 10 hours in a mercury zone.

In the Stolp Island parking deck, patrons can park for up to one hour at no charge. It’s $1 per hour after the first hour and a maximum of $5 per day, Ferrelli said. It previously cost 50 cents per hour to park in the Stolp deck.

City officials estimate that the new parking plan will initially bring in $22,000 less than the meters-based system when comparing the two parking systems alone, according to City Chief Development Officer Bill Wiet.

Removing the parking meters and adding new street signs ahead of the parking plan cost about $100,000 and was funded through tax increment financing dollars, Wiet said. That cost does not include improvements to the Stolp Island parking deck and other new parking equipment the city budgeted for in 2013.

Downtown parkers with issues or questions about the new parking regulations in the central business district should call the city’s Customer Service Department at 630-256-INFO.

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