City Council Reboots Parking Ordinance

Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano got today what they requested last week: immediate implementation of the citywide parking-boot ordinance, which prohibits parking-lot operators from booting vehicles unless they provide paper receipts either handwritten or machine-made. Only four of their colleagues voted against moving up the July 1 deadline: Sheffie Kadane, Dave Neumann, Ron Natinsky and Jerry Allen. The rest said, Fine by me. Hunt just posted a recap following the hourlong debate, from which we take this excerpt:

One councilmember suggested that if booting were less convenient to parking lot owners as a means of enforcement, they would start towing cars. While that's possible, that hasn't been the experience in Deep Ellum. Barry Annino, president of the Deep Ellum Foundation, explained to the council today that towing hasn't increased in Deep Ellum since the booting ordinance took effect there at the beginning of the year. Instead, the parking lots are doing what they did before they began booting -- ticketing cars that didn't pay the proper fee. So there hasn't been an uptick in towing.

Some councilmembers opposed the change because they believe parking lot owners need another five months to implement an electronic payment system on their lots. But I question whether that's a genuine concern or just a stalling tactic because (1) parking lots have the option not to boot or to use an attendant rather than a machine and (2) no one has implemented these machines in Deep Ellum, despite having had five months (August-December 31) to do so.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky