SALT LAKE CITY -- If you get a parking ticket over the next year, Mayor Jackie Biskupski will let you get out of it.
The mayor announced on Friday a one-year grace period for people to get a parking ticket dismissed, if there's a problem with the pay kiosks scattered throughout downtown.
"The pay stations have been difficult and we want to welcome people back to Salt Lake City and give them a chance to understand the pay stations," said Mary Beth Thompson, Salt Lake City's interim finance director.
If there's errors like missed keys, transposition problems or the wrong space number is used, show up to the Salt Lake City & County Building or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be asked to provide the receipt from the pay station or the credit card used for payment. (More info can be found here)
Parking meters in downtown Salt Lake City have been a longstanding source of aggravation. A lawsuit was even filed over some of the electronic pay meters. FOX 13 filed a public records request on meter complaints and found:
- From January 2015-May 2016, Salt Lake City received approximately 875 complaints.
- Of those complaints, 35% were actual parking meter issues. The rest were either user error or the complaint was unfounded.
- The biggest complaint was the paper in the pay kiosk ran out (which the city says has been fixed thanks to an alert system).
Salt Lake City began changing out its parking meter system in January 2015, which means some of those complaints are under the old kiosks. A new app to pay for parking has seen an increase in use, said Thompson.
Forgiving so many parking tickets means the city will lose between $40,000 to $60,000 over the next year, Thompson said. But many people who found themselves with a ticket downtown were thrilled.
"I don't come here often. I'm from out of town," said Donald Harwart, who got a parking ticket on Friday outside the City Creek Center. "It's a bit difficult to navigate."
In Harwart's case, the parking enforcement officer told him not to worry about his ticket and tore it up after he explained his situation.
"I definitely think it's cool of him," he said.