Raise Parking Fines Downtown Says
By Catherine Lackner
If an idea put forth by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority succeeds, parking scofflaws should avoid the central business district. Authority directors voted Friday to ask the Florida Legislature to increasing parking fines so that a portion of the proceeds could fund more enforcement by the Miami Parking Authority.
"They don’t have enough staff," said Cesar M. Garcia-Pons, authority senior manager of planning, design, transportation and services. The fine for unpaid parking ranges $18 to $33, depending on the offense, with about half the money going to Miami-Dade County and the balance to whatever municipality issues the ticket.
A review of the fines "is long overdue," said Art Noriega, parking authority CEO. "We are way below market. They haven’t raised the rate in 20 years, and people are more than happy to take the risk" of getting the occasional ticket rather than consistently paying for parking.
The additional officers would pay for themselves in revenue from more fines, he said. "We are way off kilter."
Mr. Noriega said he has been in talks with the cities of Coral Gables and Miami Beach, and officials there support a rate increase.
"I think the idea is a great one," said board member Jose Goyanes, who is the owner of Metro Beauty Center, Churchill’s Barbershop and Tre Italian Bistro. "A valet is $15-$20, and a ticket is $18," creating an incentive for drivers to take a chance.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.