Do I Have To Pay Those Atlanta Parking Tickets?

7:48 AM, May 5, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Do I Have to Pay Those Atlanta Parking Tickets?

  • Keep pumping those quarters into downtown Atlanta parking meters...for now.
  • A PARKAtlanta employee checks a parking meter.

ATLANTA -- You may have heard that the City of Atlanta is going to quit writing parking tickets for a while.

But don't get too excited just yet.

Keep pouring money into those parking meters...for now.

On Tuesday 11Alive saw PARKatlanta meter readers still writing tickets on many downtown streets.

That's because the parking ticket moratorium unanimously passed by the City Council on Monday night won't take effect until May 15th.

They voted for a 30 day "cooling off" period following hundreds of angry complaints about the private company that took over enforcement in January.

PARKatlanta has promised to pay the city $5 million a year for the contract.

That's nearly twice as much as the city collected in parking ticket fines on its own.

But the company has come under intense criticism for being too gung ho.

"I know they want to meet their contract then make money," driver Gina Morrison told 11 Alive, "but I just got a ticket that was unwarranted."

"Two in one day," says driver Quarletia Morris, "Maybe I would have gotten three or four if I'd stayed a little longer."

City Councilman Kwanza Hall proposed the 30 day moratorium to try and straighten out complaints, standardize enforcement and address some unanswered legal questions.

"It is even legal to outsource this parking function?" he asks.

"Second, there's another issue with the Solicitor's Office and whether or not non-sworn officers can issue tickets," Hall adds.

Mayor Kasim Reed told 11 Alive that he agrees with the moratorium.

"We're now going to engage, find out what the problems are and then create a program that works," Reed said.

Meanwhile, 11 Alive noticed one interesting vehicle parked in a tow-zone outside Atlanta City Hall on Tuesday.

It belonged to the city's Parking Enforcement Department.

By the way, the May 15th parking ticket moratorium is not retroactive.

If you still have an unpaid ticket, you still owe the $25 fine and maybe more if it's late.

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