City announces parking education campaign, moratorium on some tickets

This week, Denver is giving you a five-day break from certain parking violations. Yesterday the Denver Department of Public Works launched a five-day, city-wide education campaign that aims to lower the number of tickets given for non-posted violations -- by letting residents know what those violations are.

DPW estimates that between 400 and 500 parking tickets are issued every week for non-posted ordinances; those add up to $10,000 to $12,000 a week in general fund revenue.

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Through Friday, May 23, drivers violating a non-posted parking ordinance will be given a warning instead of a citation. Along with the warning, they'll also receive a reference guide listing all common non-posted ordinances and a general description of each.

The timing of the campaign was no coincidence -- and it wasn't scheduled in response to recent reports about how much the city has ramped up its ticketing.

'We wanted to do it in conjunction with National Public Works Week. We thought that would be a good way to get the word out. That's a week where the people of Public Works are celebrated for the work they do, so we just wanted to tie it in with that," DPW spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said at yesterday's launch.

"Our goal is volunteer compliance. We want people to know what the rules are and comply. We would rather them spend their money on a nice dinner out to eat, rather than spending it on a parking ticket," she added.

But this week's act of goodwill only goes so far; agents are still instructed to give out tickets for certain situations.

Tickets will still be given for all posted parking violations, including parking in tow-away zones and handicapped spaces. Expired meters, the most common ticket given in Denver, will also be enforced.

According to Tina Scardina, director of right-of-way enforcement and meter operations, expired meters account for 40 percent of the parking tickets issued every year in the city. License plate violations are the second most common.

"We're trying to push people toward knowing about ordinances, then be ticket-free," Kuhn said.

The reference guide being given to violators, along with information and descriptions of Denver parking laws, can be found at denvergov.org/parking.

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