The District of Columbia will erase thousands of parking tickets issued during and days after Winter Storm Jonas. The decision wipes away many of the nearly 5,479 tickets filed.
DC residents and visitors a like who were “trapped” in the city during the storm, and were also parked along snow emergency routes, were issued parking violation that easily totaled several hundred dollars apiece
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser made this announcement in a press release Thursday afternoon. She plans to rescind fees for all tickets issued on Friday.
“I understand that some who received citations that Friday may not have known about the parking restriction,” she said in part, “or may have been running errands in preparation for the storm.”
Bowser’s decision to dismiss several tickets may not be out of the goodness of her heart, since city rules stipulates the District must give residents and visitors at least an hour’s notice before issuing tickets for parking along snow emergency routes. It’s believed last week, the District gave about 23 hours’ notice.
City resident Maxwell Ford, is excited to hear the news.
“I had my car towed and I was mad because I didn’t know I couldn’t park there,” he said, “I moved to the area about a two months ago and no one had to I couldn’t park there.”
In all, nearly 700 vehicles were towed during the 5 1/2 days D.C. was under a state of emergency due to the storm. 2,829 tickets, or more than half of the 5,479 issued during the entire storm. It will also reduce city revenue from ticket-writing during the storm by about $700,000.
Even though their tickets have been forgiven, vehicle owners are still responsible for a $100 towing fee and a $25 impound fee because the vehicles were parked along snow emergency routes.
Some believe Bowser’s goodwill could serve as political fodder with her relationship among city council members. The city Council is sticking to their guns with the increased parking fees and penalties despite complaints from city residents. Council members want to show a united front in showing the seriousness of not parking in a snow emergency routes during a storm, so first responders can get by.
DC Government has previously budgeted an estimated $6 million for removal for the entire winter, but ended up spending over $12 million by Tuesday during the city’s first serious winter storm. The city is expected to recoup some money through a federal emergency fund.
All in all, the city issued tickets totaling $1,078,000; along with 65,600 in various violations, and towed 656 vehicles.