Ouch! I Watched One Vehicle Get $56 In Parking Fines In Under 3 Hours Downtown Duluth
Our radio station studios and offices are located on Superior Street in downtown Duluth, which is quite an interesting experience for several reasons. It's also an experience made even more unpredictable because two of our radio stations have big studio windows facing the sidewalk.
One of those studios is the B105 studios, where I spend a lot of my time, and you wouldn't believe all of the things I see and hear from the people who walk by or decide to hang out in front of me. That will be a story for another time, but right now I wanted to share an observation I made of a Duluth parking enforcement officer.
There are many metered parking spots in front of the Holiday Center, which you pay for on-site or through the related app. I have parked in this location many times over the years, and I've been guilty of overstaying my time, even getting an occasional deserved ticket. Turns out, I was lucky on those occasions to only have received one ticket.
This week, I saw a very active parking enforcement officer making the rounds and I witnessed him give several vehicles parking tickets right outside the studio. This was late morning, around 11:30 a.m.
I left the studio to go to my office for a while and headed back into the studio around 2:00 p.m. To my surprise, I saw that same parking enforcement officer back in front of the Holiday Center doing his thing in the same row of parking spots.
I've never seen an officer return to the same spot that quickly before and he was issuing more parking tickets. One vehicle that I remembered getting a ticket before the noon hour was getting its second ticket of the day just over two hours later.
If you didn't think that you could get two parking tickets on the same day while parked at the same spot, especially less than three hours apart, the fact that I saw two brightly colored parking ticket envelopes wedged into their door proves you can. While I missed seeing that vehicle leave, it was gone by 4:30 p.m. and I'm sure the driver wasn't happy about what amounted to a very costly parking spot.
Personally, I felt that was a bit unfair and even predatory behavior by that parking enforcement officer, regardless of Duluth's parking fine policies. It was a Tuesday and no major events were going on in the area.
I checked on Duluth's parking fine policies and if you're visiting downtown Duluth and parking at a metered spot, you must move your vehicle when time expires. Then you pay again for your new parking spot.
Paying again for more time at the parking spot you originally chose will not prevent you from getting a parking ticket. In fact "feeding the meter" can actually lead to a second, more costly ticket. According to the City of Duluth, there is a $24 fine for parking at an expired or unpaid parking meter. The fine for "feeding the meter" and not moving your vehicle is $32. So, whoever was driving the vehicle I witnessed likely paid $56 in parking fees for their day in downtown Duluth.
While on the subject of Duluth parking fines, a standard parking ticket is $24. Here is the complete list of other Duluth parking violations along with the fines you'll pay if ticketed:
- Alternate side (calendar parking) infraction
- 24-hour parking infraction
- Resident permit parking zone
- Facing wrong way
- Front yard parking
- Double parking
- "No Parking" area - signposted
- "No Parking" area - temporary signs
- Overstaying the time limit in a metered parking space ("feeding the meter")
- Occupying a metered space for more than two hours without paying (“aggravated meter”)
- Occupying two metered spaces ("parking over the line")
- Backed into an angled parking space
- Missing license plate
- Loading zone
- Truck zone
- In alley
- On a boulevard (i.e., between the street and sidewalk)
- On sidewalk
- On crosswalk
- Within intersection
- In front of a driveway
- Within 7' of any driveway or alley
- Within 10' of a fire hydrant
- Within 20' of crosswalk
- Within 20' of the driveway entrance to a fire station
- Within 30' of a stop sign or traffic control device
- Within 50' of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing
- Within 75' of the driveway entrance to a fire station, when parked on the opposite side of the street, and when properly signposted
- Alongside or opposite street excavation or obstruction
- On government property
- On a bridge or in a tunnel
- Not parallel parked
- Not within 12" of a curb
- Front wheels not turned to curb
- Non-current license plate tabs displayed
- Fire lane
- Keys left in the ignition
- Snow emergency infraction
- Taxi stand
- Unattached trailer
- Bus stop
- Improper roadway clearance
- Parked in a space reserved for physically disabled persons
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Gallery Credit: Aubrey Jane McClaine