Monday, May 20, 2024

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Elon to hold public hearing on proposed hike in parking fines

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Elon’s police chief has called for an increase in Elon’s parking fines to discourage drivers from monopolizing the on-street parking in the town’s downtown district.

Police chief Kelly Blackwelder said that the current penalty of $25 is simply not having an impact on drivers who routinely exceed the two-hour limits that the town has placed on these conveniently-situated parking spots.

“We have a lot, a lot of repeat offenders,” she said. “The fines that we have right now is obviously not an incentive for individuals to stay in the timeframe, and the university as I recall charges $50 per ticket.”

Blackwelder went on to propose a fine of $40 for every violation of the two-hour limit, which would increase to $65 if the ticket remains unpaid after 15 days and to $100 if there’s still no response after 45 days.

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In response to the police chief’s suggestion, councilman Quinn Ray objected to the impact that these stiffer fines may have on restaurant patrons who like to plant their vehicles in front of their favorite eateries when Elon University isn’t in session and the downtown district is largely deserted.

Elon’s mayor Emily Sharpe agreed that the town could benefit from a parking fine “holiday” when the university empties of students.

Meanwhile, councilman Monti Allison suggested that the town’s parking fine should be ramped up to $50 fine to match the university’s own parking penalties. Sharpe argued that even this $10 increase from Blackwelder’s suggestion may not be enough to keep students from hogging the town’s coveted on-street parking spaces.

“That’s why we have a parking problem: people parking in short-term parking longer than they should.”

Sharpe also suggested that the town should post its parking fines where potential violators can see them. Blackwelder admitted that these penalties are currently spelled out only on the ticket itself.

In the end, Allison and Ray voted with councilman Randy Orwig to hold a public hearing on May 22 about the police chief’s proposed increase in parking fines. Absent from Tuesday’s meeting for health reasons, and consequently not counted in the 3-to-0 vote, were council members Mark Greene and Stephanie Bourland.


See other Elon town council news:

Council scraps new parking in favor of plaza construction: https://alamancenews.com/elons-council-scraps-plan-for-new-parking-reroutes-funds-to-build-downtown-plaza/

Proposed budget has major property tax increase: https://alamancenews.com/elon-town-manager-proposes-budget-plan-with-tax-rate-14-percent-higher-than-revenue-neutral/

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