DELAWARE, Ohio — The cost of staying at a parking meter too long has more than doubled under a new fine structure that took effect Monday.
The city of Delaware now has a standard $25 fine for all parking violations. Previously, an overtime meter carried a $10 fine, reduced to $7 if paid before midnight. The fine for parking too long in a non-metered space was previously $40.
The subject of downtown parking came up during the August 15, 2022 meeting of the city’s Parking and Safety Committee. Police Chief Adam Moore told the committee that more than half of Delaware’s parking meters are inoperable, or lack internals mechanisms.”
“We’ve reached a point where our infrastructure has really started to fail. We have 300 and some odd meters currently, 172 of them, so more than half of them, are either not working, do not have internal mechanisms, or are working part of the time,” said Moore.
In addition to coins, Delaware parking meters can be paid through Passport Mobile. The company collects an additional fee for using the service.
Moore also said the city’s parking enforcement vehicle was totaled in a hit and run crash in 2021. The city has been without such a vehicle since.
Assistant City Manager Kyle Kridler said during that meeting that the ultimate goal of the downtown parking program is to manage parking.
“The tickets that you’re getting, in some places are seven dollars. It’s not really driving behavior,” Kridler said. “From what the consultants have shared with us, there’s really a threshold of about 25 dollars before people actually change their habits with parking.
The full City Council approved the change to a $25 fine in December.
According to numbers prepared during the 2023 city budget process, the city collected $22,886 from the parking meter program in 2020, $28,850 in 2021, and an estimated $25,000 in 2022. The city projects collecting $112,000 in 2023.
The city estimates that replacing every single parking meter would cost between $400,000 and $500,000. Other options are being explored, including the use of kiosks, like those used in Columbus, and possibly adding a parking garage to downtown.