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Ticket Blizzard Buries Fayetteville Street Parkers

Posted December 5, 2007

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— A year after being reopened to traffic, Fayetteville Street has become a magnet for parking tickets.

So far this year, Park Raleigh inspectors have issued more than 2,900 tickets for cars parked on the four-block-long Fayetteville Street. Almost 1,700 of them were for parking in no-parking zones, while another 800 were for exceeding the allowed time limit in a parking space.

The total far outdistanced the number of tickets issued for parking on other downtown streets. About 2,100 tickets were issued on Wilmington Street, while 1,600 were issued on Salisbury Street.

"It's no targeting involved," said Eugene Eggleston, project manager for Park Raleigh. "It's a new area that's opened up. A lot of people want to run in, park, do what they want to do, and they violate the policy. They violate the ordinance."

Danny Nesrallah, who owns America's Pita Grill on Fayetteville Street, said he has racked up more than $450 in parking tickets.

"If you want people to come to downtown, it shouldn't be in the back of their mind (that) they have to worry about parking. It shouldn't be a problem. People should come downtown with ease," Nesrallah said.

Mayor Charles Meeker agreed that the downtown parking system needs to be improved.

A study looking at downtown parking problems, including recommendations for Fayetteville Street, is expected to be complete next spring.

Meeker said raising fines and replacing parking meters with pay stations could help.

The city is experimenting with pay stations on West Hargett Street across from City Hall over the next few months. The stations accept credit cards as well as cash.

"That high number of tickets really is ridiculous," Meeker said. "It's not just an occasional violator. It shows we have the wrong system in place. We need to make some changes."

32 Comments

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  • RaleighRob Dec 6, 2007

    There's no excuse...there's a good half-dozen parking decks within a short stroll from Fayetteville Street. Are these people just freakin lazy or what? If you can't be bothered to walk a block or two from your car to whatever business you're visiting then you have way bigger problems than parking tickets!

  • Panther Dec 6, 2007

    Can anyone name any city the size of Raleigh or larger that it is easy and/or cheap to park? It's just not possible, as far as I have seen.
    Yes DETROIT! However your car might not be there if you live to come back.

  • sunshine Dec 6, 2007

    To WABRS--I couldn't agree with you more about those that use their family members(s) handicapped tags. Seeing the public do that makes my blood boil. My mother was handicapped and those that illegally use those handicapped flags take away from those that are truly handicapped. They should be fined triple.

  • bigredtruckman Dec 6, 2007

    "Oh no. Poor Danny from America's Pita Grille. I eat there on occasion (best gyro's in town!!!!!) and he just went up on the price. :( So, we the customers are paying. Not just the owner. :(" iHeartFirefighters

    Just an aside on this subject: The more likely reason that the restaurant raised their prices is because of the cost of goods. As someone else in this business, I can tell you that some goods have gone up as much as %50-%100 in the last year. Unfortunately, you are going to see the prices of ALL of your favorite restaurants go up.

    As far as the parking thing goes, I have personally seen how agressive and arbitrary these parking people can be. I have been ticketed while actively unloading a car trunk in a loading zone for my business. Their excuse was that a car is not a delivery vehicle, yet my pickup with the same items in it is OK. I also observed a bit of racial selectivity in who they ticketed (I'm white and got ticketed, others parked all every day for free)

  • TRivers Dec 6, 2007

    I'd like to know what genius came up with the plan to parallel park the cars on Fayeteville St. Why didn't they put the parking in diagonal and don't tell me it was becuae of room. Those sidewalks are huge down there there was plenty of room. It was probably the same genius that changed the stoplight at Peace street next to Mellow Mushroom and now it's a nightmare to get through there.

  • OhYea Dec 6, 2007

    I don't think the politicians, police and lawyers want anyone downtown. This is there way of keeping people out. It works for me!

  • swisher1 Dec 6, 2007

    nobody wants to go in and shop in somewhere that they have to be worried about being back to their cars within 20-30 minutes. How can you shop that quickly, especially in these crowded stores, and especially Christmas shopping. That stinks. There is no answer to the problem. Build a giant parking deck right next to the "downtown proper," and let people park FOR FREE. If that can't be done, then downtowns are pretty much going to become obsolete!

  • iamforjustice Dec 6, 2007

    I would suggest Raleigh needs some underground parking. Or maybe a downtown parking entrance that has transportation to take you around downtown and not have to worry about parking downtown. Just hop on a jetty and tell them where you wanna go and it takes you there and have them scattered around the city and then let one take you back to your car when you finish whatever you are doing. Dang...something simple like this. I need to be the mayor of Raleigh. I would have a lite rail in place by now.

  • Tripwire Dec 6, 2007

    If he's working there all day wouldn't that mean he has to park all day. Anyway thats why I don't go downtown. You have to ride around in endless circle to find a spot and then you can't enjoy doing anything because your constantly looking at your watch to make sure you get back in time. Besides there's really nothing downtown that you can't find somewhere else.

  • Oh Smeg Dec 6, 2007

    I'm relieved to know that somewhere around here the parking ordinances are being enforced because they certainly aren't anywhere else in Raleigh. But, hey, if a law is inconvenient, ignore it. That seems to be the attitude around here.

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