Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

City Will Issue Parking Tickets By Mail

Change comes as a result of threats, attacks on parking checkers.

By - Dec 27th, 2021 11:05 am
Parking enforcement. Photo by Michael Horne.

Parking enforcement. Photo by Michael Horne.

You should check your mailbox and your windshield to find your next parking ticket.

In a move designed to improve worker safety, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin mailing citations for night parking violations. The change comes after the workers have been subjected to substantial abuse, including numerous verbal threats, one stabbing and an incident where someone chased a worker in their vehicle while shooting at them.

Since August 2017, DPW has recorded 175 incidents involving threats or attacks. More than half occurred during third shift said Rich Dollhopf, parking enforcement manager when he presented the by-mail idea Dec. 1 to the Public Works Committee.

The Common Council unanimously adopted the proposal on Dec. 14. The city will begin mailing citations on Jan. 3.

Forty percent of the reported incidents occurred from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Between those hours vehicles parked on the street, with limited exceptions, are required to have a $55-per-year permit. On many streets, the vehicles must also be parked on a certain side of the street. The fee for non-compliance is $20 if paid within 14 days.

The new process will extend the timeline to pay to 21 days, which Dollhopf said will accommodate the up to three days it will take to mail the citation via USPS First Class Mail. The same contractor that mails overdue citation notices will mail the overnight violations.

The citation will include a photo of the vehicle, captured by automated cameras. “Also captured with that process is the actual GPS address of where that vehicle was parked,” said Dollhopf.

The camera system mounted on the checker’s Jeep vehicle automatically dings when a license plate is spotted that doesn’t have a valid overnight permit.

But despite the growing automation in the job, DPW has struggled to maintain enough parking enforcement officers. The 2021 budget funds 58 positions, which Dollhopf said have a starting wage of between $16 and $17 per hour. There are also four lead enforcement officers positions and four supervisors.

“We are happy when someone can retire, but most people do leave before they can retire,” said the enforcement manager.

Parking services manager Thomas Woznick told the committee in May that turnover was increasing because of safety concerns. Those concerns include being caught in a literal crossfire. He said there were six incidents where drivers saw or heard gunfire that wasn’t directed at them.

The pilot project to mail tickets, according to the authorizing resolution, is to last for one year. In 2019, the City Attorney’s office issued a written opinion that it was legal. DPW will need to report back on the pilot results at the halfway point and again at its conclusion.

A night parking permit can be purchased online, at Milwaukee Police Department stations, the city tow lot or parking violation bureaus.

In addition to standard overnight parking restrictions, winter parking regulations went into effect Dec. 1. Individuals can sign up for a text message notification service used to announce more restrictive snow emergencies. Some regulations are not posted, but can be viewed on the city’s parking website and additional exception areas exist.

Categories: City Hall, Weekly

2 thoughts on “City Hall: City Will Issue Parking Tickets By Mail”

  1. 45 years in the City says:

    Some years ago, there was a suggestion made that parking enforcement also issue citations to parked cars with expired registration. My recollection is that the idea didn’t go anywhere as expired registration was beyond parking enforcement’s jurisdiction. But now with parking tickets being issued by mail, why not give parking enforcement authority to also ticket for expired/missing registrations? No significant extra work, low risk of confrontation, and it might reduce police stops for expired registrations.

    For every unregistered car, the city is losing its share of the fee which is badly needed.

  2. kaygeeret says:

    And how about cars that have no license plate at all?

    It is truly astounding how many cars have no visible plates.

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