By Sue Mick, Salida Municipal Court Clerk
I would like to provide you with some food for thought, specifically about parking tickets.
What about them annoys you the most? First of all, with a little common sense, they are totally avoidable. Drivers just need to pay attention to what’s going on around them and look for parking information signage.
Take street parking at the new Salida High School, for example. Street parking has been prohibited on Jones and New streets for years. The School requested signage be put up as soon as possible. When Public Works scheduled putting up the signs, the School began to announce it on the PA about 2 weeks prior to putting them up. The day the signs were erected, it was announced at least twice before school let out, and students were stationed out there to remind the other students to move their cars. At the game that evening, at about 6:00 p.m. on the PA system, a Police Officer announced that parking was prohibited in those areas, and those who were parked there needed to move their vehicles. An hour later, the night shift patrol officers started writing parking tickets. The reaction by the drivers of those vehicles which were ticketed was one of indignation – “Nobody told us.”
Other reasons for parking tickets include: parking and blocking private driveways, parking in street sweeping/snow plowing areas, parking in fire lanes, parking in handicapped spaces without a handicapped placard, parking where prohibited, and parking in excess of the posted limit.
Like many other smaller cities, parking has become a problem. You have many people vying for a few spaces: tourists, locals, business owners, business staff and residents of the downtown area. This is where common courtesy/sense become part of the equation. You don’t like it when someone blocks you in, so why would you consider doing it to someone else? If you park in a handicapped space without a placard just to save yourself a few steps, it means someone who is truly handicapped and has a handicapped placard has to either keep circling the block until the space frees up, struggle a greater distance, or give up and go home.
If you get a ticket, read it thoroughly. There is a $25 late fee if you don’t pay the ticket within 14 days of when it was issued. If you get a parking ticket you don’t understand, feel free to contact Salida Municipal Court at 539-6426 or the Salida Police Department at 539-6880.