Lexington Struggling To Make Illegal Parkers Pay

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Writing parking tickets for officers in
the state's second-largest city isn't a problem, over 60,000 have
been tucked under windshield wipers over the last three years. Getting them paid, however, is another matter.

Less than half of the tickets have been paid off, shorting the
city nearly $1 million in revenue, leaving city officials wondering
how to better enforce the law.

The city's collection problems, including missing registration
information and a lack of enforcement, are widespread. The city
sends out just one notice a year to delinquent payers and lets
out-of-state residents go scot-free. Many of the city's most
frequent abusers say they never receive notice from the city about
the number of tickets they've racked up.

"The main thing we're comfortable saying is that there hasn't
been clear management, focus and goals," said Gary Means, the
executive director of the city's new parking authority. "The
parking authority is going to establish some policies and put them
into place."

Downtown business owners say the scarcity of street parking in
the area combined with the lack of enforcement allow some to abuse
the system. It's not unusual for some parkers to put a quarter in
the meter in the morning, then park for hours without going to
check the meter.

"Nobody ever goes to check," said John Popovich, part-owner of
Mithril Ltd. Fine Jewelers. "It wouldn't be bad if people parked
for an hour ... It is being monitored; it's just not being
monitored as frequently as it needs to be."
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-15-07 1640EDT

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