Civilian ticketing of illegally parked cars in Washington will begin Oct. 23, D.C. Transportation Director Douglas N. Schneider Jr. announced yesterday.
A 50-member parking enforcement force is undergoing training and will ge assigned to duty in the downtown area and in residential neighborhoods covered by commuter parking bans, Schneider said.
Assignment of the new civillian force is the first part of a three-step program of expanded parking law enforcement proposed by Mayor Walter E. Washington and sentenced by the D.C. City Council.
Starting in January, Schneider said, the city will geatly step up its towing of cars parked illegally along arterial streets and in truck loading zones. More "boots" will be used to immobilize cars whose drivers have ignored numerous tickets.
The towing will be down on an all-day basis, and not just in rush hours, and it will cost a violator a minimum of $50 plus the cost of the parking fine to get his or her car back, Schneider said. Many motorists will pay $75, he added.
Also starting in January, adjudication of the parking tickets as well as minor traffic violations will be shifted from judges of the D.C. Superior Court to civilian hearing officers on the payroll of the transportation department.
Uniformed police will continue to write parking tickets, and the Superior Court will continue to deal with more serious traffic violations.
Schneider said the new traffic enforcement program should have three main results.
Downtown traffic should move more smoothly, residential areas covered by the commuter parking ban should be rid of many of the suburban cars that park illegally all day, and the city should get substantial extra revenue.
The program is costing an estimated $6.6 million a year, and is expected to yield $20.3 million a year from additional parking fines.