Wilmington’s Parking Enforcement Improvements Announced

Mayor Purzycki’s legislation before City Council will be sponsored by Council Members Maria Cabrera, Zanthia Oliver and James Spadola; if approved, the reduced ticket cost will take effect July 1, 2023
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today announced another in a series of improvements to the City’s parking enforcement system. The Mayor will send legislation next week to City Council to lower the cost of certain parking tickets to $25 from the current $40. Mayor Purzycki said the City continues to make progress with its plan to issue fewer parking enforcement tickets, thereby reducing hassles for City residents as well as for the City government bureaucracy.

“The City’s mission with these improvements is to maintain parking order on the streets, stop drivers from illegally taking neighborhood parking spaces, and keep City streets clean—all without issuing as many tickets as we have in previous years,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Less enforcement is better for residents and government workers.”

The Mayor today thanked Council Member Maria Cabrera for taking the lead on the ticket cost reduction legislation as well as her Council colleagues Zanthia Oliver and James Spadola for agreeing to be co-sponsors.

The current $40 tickets that will be reduced to $25 if Council approves the Mayor’s legislation are:
Irregular/Improper manner of parking
Unattended vehicle
Parking within 20 feet of crosswalk
Parking in a crosswalk
Parking within 30 feet of flashing beacon or traffic control sign
Parking on a sidewalk
Parking within 50 feet of a railway crossing
Violation of Limited Time Parking
Violation of Limited Time Parking by moving vehicle to a different spot in same block
Violation of No Parking Sign
Parking in restricted areas reserved for buses of senior citizen centers
Violation of street cleaning parking policy
Parking of a vehicle displayed for sale
Parking a vehicle for the primary purpose of displaying advertising
Violation of restricted parking adjacent to urban schools
Exceeding the time on a parking meter
Manner of parking in a metered space
Feeding the meter
All other parking tickets issued by the City will remain at their current amount.

Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Program
In addition to today’s reduced ticket cost announcement, the City unveiled last month a new Residential Parking Permit (RPP) process that extends the City’s approximately 3,600 permits to two years instead of one, thus reducing the need for residents to renew annually. The City also condensed City parking zones into east and west sectors, which matches the more familiar trash and recycling program.

Residents who live east of Interstate 95 now have permits that are valid through June 30, 2024. The City automatically renewed these permits. Residents just have to remember to renew their permit again in June of 2024 and it will become effective for two years through June of 2026. The City will mail and email reminders to residents. Residents who live west of Interstate 95 now have permits that are valid through December 31, 2023. The City automatically renewed these permits. Residents just have to remember to renew their permit again in December of 2023 and it will become effective for two years through December of 2025. Again, the City will mail and email reminders.

If a resident’s address changes, they must inform the City immediately by dialing 311 so we can update their records. If a resident’s registration and license plate number changes for any reason, or if there is a change in ownership of the registered vehicle, they must notify the City immediately by dialing 311 so their account can be updated.

Additional parking enforcement improvements will be announced in the weeks and months ahead. They include:
More timely advanced notification to residents about RPP expirations and renewals, sending reminder notices via US mail AND email at least 30 days prior to the expiration of a permit. The Mayor said the City will add email notification and text messaging to this information process as long as residents provide their email addresses and opt to receive texts.

Resuming the previous system of issuing a RPP car bumper sticker that a vehicle owner must display on a registered vehicle. The Mayor said the displayed sticker process is less cumbersome for parking enforcement officers, who currently track vehicles through license plates, and is more informative for neighborhood residents who will know when a non-registered vehicle is taking up limited parking spaces.
Revamping the Ticket Appeals Process by requiring all appeals to be submitted online with US mail allowances for individuals without internet access. All appeal decisions will be communicated to appellants electronically as long as email addresses are provided to the City.

Towing process upgrades that include extending the time period for a towing company to hold and store vehicles to two months instead of one month and allowing for a towed vehicle to be retrieved 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Another reform will stipulate that a vehicle owner must be allowed to retrieve their personal belongings from their towed vehicle without delay. Also, if a towing company proceeds to take title to a vehicle after the hold period, all parking ticket fines owed to the City will be waived.
Improved Written Communications to the Public that involves rewriting all of the City’s parking, ticketing, and appeal emails, letters, and forms.

Eliminating Parking Ticket Payment Agreements except for owners of vehicles that are booted or towed. The Mayor said 75% of payment arrangements for outstanding parking tickets default with accumulated fines unpaid. With the new $25 fine for many parking violations, it is the City’s hope that tickets will be paid more quickly and that enforcement measures such as booting and towing will not be needed. Mayor Purzycki said this change does not affect other payment arrangements offered by the City, such as for outstanding water bill payments.
Friendlier Downtown Parking Signage, which includes changing parking limit signage Downtown and in other commercial or entertainment areas to 5 p.m. from 6 p.m., which the Mayor hopes will encourage worry-free parking for those participating in Wilmington’s increasingly popular afterhours venues.

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