Jan 31, 2022 - News

Denver raises fines for parking violations

Data: Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Get ready to pay more if you're parked illegally on Denver streets.

What's happening: Starting Feb. 1, fines shoot up $10 for most parking violations, including overstaying time limits.

  • A handful of offenses, like parking in a bike lane or accessible parking spot, will go even higher.

Why it matters: The parking citation adjustments — the city's first in 15 years — are meant to more closely align Denver with its peer cities and reduce vehicle congestion, Denver's transportation officials tell Axios.

Details: The fine for parking illegally in an accessible parking space will more than double to $350 to deter people from illegally leaving their cars in spots dedicated to drivers with disabilities.

  • Fines for parking in or blocking a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk will also increase from $25 to $65.

Of note: Large vehicles parked illegally will see fines increase 900%, to $250. City officials say the spike is intended to crack down on the rise in large vehicles, like semi trucks, using residential neighborhoods to park.

By the numbers: Denver's transportation department issued 418,713 citations in 2021 for a forecasted $19.6 million in general fund revenue, per city data obtained by Axios.

  • That's a 5% increase compared to 2019 and a 12% leap in revenue.
  • The city only issued about 327,000 citations and collected $13.8 million in revenue in 2020, due to officials suspending enforcement of parking meters and expired tags in the initial stages of the pandemic.

What's next: City officials anticipate an additional $6.4 million in 2022 under the new fine schedule, which will be placed into a special revenue fund for mobility and safety improvements.

Flashback: Mayor Michael Hancock's administration also doubled city parking meter rates this year from $1 to $2 per hour, marking Denver's first increase in two decades. The goal is to funnel the extra revenue into local investments in public transit, bikeways, sidewalk repairs and street safety improvements.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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