If you park the car in Cedar Rapids, better look sharp. Fines are going to quintuple for many non-moving violations. Lieutenant Steve O’Konek says the city council this week amended the ordinance, effective Monday, February 2nd. Parking violations except for handicapped zones and expired meter will increase from five to 25 dollars — that’ll include parking in prohibited zones and being parked in emergency snow routes. O’Konek says state law sets the fine for a handicapped-space violation, at 100 dollars. He says the problem that sparked the fine increase is people who’ll block downtown alleyways or park a car on the street for a long time, advertising it for sale or just taking up space. And in residential areas, if you don’t have a driveway or garage, the rule is: use it or lose it. You can park on a residential street for 48 hours without moving before it’s considered “streets for storage” and if cops come mark a car and verify that it still hasn’t been moved for two days, they’ll tow it away. Downtown shoppers and businesspeople will benefit from the new rules, as the officer says one goal is to make sure those who have a legitimate need to come and go can find a space.He says the higher fines should encourage people to avoid them — to have an incentive to park properly and safely. O’Koneck says city traffic departments in all Iowa towns have a vested interest in seeing that traffic moves safely and that car owners don’t deprive others of parking by using streets to simply store a vehicle.
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