CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council decided in October to back away from a proposal to bring back parking meters to the downtown.
But with concern that people, particularly those who work downtown, ignore the parking time limits, the council is considering other ways to increase the parking turnover rate.
Councilman Ken Bates said on Tuesday, Nov. 12 that he’d like to take a look at the fee structure for the parking garage and explore ways to get people to use it more.
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Mayor Charlie Powell said that increasing fines for those who receive parking citations might be another way to push people to follow the rules.
Currently, the typical parking violation fines are as follows in Casper:
- General violations:
- First violation in a 24 hour period: $15
- Second violation in a 24 hour period: $20
- Third violation in a 24 hour period: $30
- Parking in a handicapped parking space without proper identification: $100
- Parking in critical parking – school space without proper identification $50
- Parking on a designated snow route street during a snow emergency: $50
- Parking on a street in the Downtown Business District between the hours of 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM: $25
- Parking without current registration or license: $100
- Abuse or violation of the various parking limits: $100
The city says there is sufficient parking downtown, but that low turnover rates may be harming downtown businesses when potential customers can’t find a nearby spot.
Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters has told the council that parking meters would make it much easier to track whether vehicles were in violation of the rules.
But with push back from some downtown business owners against the parking meters proposal, the council appeared opposed to that proposal in an Oct. 22 work session discussion.
McPheeters said that if parking meters weren’t added, the police department could step up enforcement if that was the council’s direction.
Councilman Steve Cathey asked during that work session whether special, additional penalties for downtown business owners and employees violating the rules could be created since they might be the most frequent violators.
McPheeters said he thought this wouldn’t really be possible for legal and ethical reasons.
Councilman Steve Freel suggested making downtown parking garage passes available to downtown employees to help alleviate the congestion.
Other ideas came up in that work session as explained in this article.