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Monday, March 3, 2008

Commuter lot crashers face increase in fines

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— City officials this week continued their crackdown on the illegal parking that has been clogging spaces downtown by raising fines from $10 to $25 for those who park in commuter lots without a sticker.
People using the train station or courthouse have been rampantly violating parking restrictions downtown because they were willing to risk a ticket because the fine was so low, Police Chief Keith Mello said.
“What we are doing is adding an incentive for people to follow the existing law,” Mello said.
In response to a request from the executive director of the Milford Transit District, the Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to raise fines for parking without the proper permit in the commuter parking lots adjacent to the MetroNorth train station. Annual and semi-annual parking passes for the highly coveted commuter spots are available for $250 and $150, respectively, but there is at least a three-year waiting list for the spots, said Milford Transit District Executive Director Henry Jadach.
“I think (the fine increase) will work out well,” Jadach said. “Before, people were avoiding paying for parking at any cost.”
Last month, the Police Commission voted to raise the fine for exceeding the downtown parking limits from $5 to $10.
“The premise is simple,” police board Chairman Kenneth Fellenbaum said. “If you don’t want to get fined, don’t park illegally.”
Fellenbaum said the increase in fines will help encourage turnover in the downtown parking spots, which will help out the downtown businesses.
Increased fines went into effect immediately following the commission’s decision, Mello said.


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