City should put more bite in parking fines

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2000

If Natchez hopes to keep our historic downtown area thriving economically, we must address the parking problems. A meeting this week sponsored by the Natchez Downtown Development Association got the discussion of possible solutions to a seeming lack of parking spaces in front of downtown businesses.

The group used the forum to allow concerned citizens to discuss real solutions using a proactive approach rather than letting folks merely sit around and fuss about the problem without offering solutions.

One of the most positive ideas we felt came from the meeting concerned the parking violation fees issued by the City of Natchez.

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Currently folks who decide to break the two-hour parking limit that is in place on a number of downtown parking spots must face the whopping penalty of a $3 fine.

Such a hefty fine must really strike fear in the hearts of the parking piranha who blatantly disregard the posted parking laws. We’re obviously being a bit facetious, but in reality the city should take a serious look at increasing the fine.

Adding a little more monetary bite to the laws may encourage some of the parking perpetrators to stop filling spaces intended for downtown patrons.

In addition to making the initial fine higher, we also think the city should consider addressing the problem of repeat offenders. Since we think most of the parking problems stem from only a few select people, why doesn’t the city increase the fines with each addition violation in the same way the state laws handle other, more serious crimes?

The parking issue must be solved and it is up to all of us to solve it or eventually the problem will go away because frustrated downtown shoppers may abandon the downtown. And no one wants that to happen.