MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The City of Montgomery is working to improve access to businesses downtown, and that means it will start cracking down on parking violations.
"For years, people have parked in the middle of Commerce Street and the middle of Dexter Avenue, on the median," City of Montgomery General Services Director Steve Jones said.
Over the last three years, the city has built new medians in those areas, preventing parking. Now there's a new problem.
"Now people are just getting back into the routine of 'I'm just going to park on the side of the road, the side of the street, do my business' and it is a very clear ordinance that we have in our code of ordinances, it's a $200 dollar fine for blocking or impeded traffic in any major street."
Jones cites an increase in parking violations that obstruct proper traffic flow and in turn could hamper public safety, like vehicles parked in travel lanes on Commerce Street between Bibb and Tallapoosa Streets and vehicles parked along the traffic circle at Court Square. Both infractions will be more aggressively enforced.
"We're going to start getting more aggressive on tickets." Said Jones. "We write about 30,000 tickets a year, a parking ticket is $15. After 30 days it becomes a $40 ticket. After 60 days it becomes a $65 ticket."
The city has also added 10 new parking spaces at the Court Square fountain, between Dexter Avenue and Commerce Street. They will be metered spaces.
"These parking spaces are designed for the public to use, to turn over throughout the day so people can access businesses in downtown Montgomery," Jones emphasized.
According to the City of Montgomery, more than 2,500 spaces, including 1,810 spaces spanning seven decks, are available for parking. In addition, free parking is available in city lots or on-street parking spaces on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day on weekends.