People leave cars parked on the street for days, and sometimes weeks, at a time.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
COLUMBIANA -- With stacks of newly printed parking tickets on his desk, Police Chief John Krawchyk issued a warning.
Parking fines will increase, starting Wednesday.
After five days, if motorists don't either pay their tickets or request a court hearing, the fines will be doubled.
"I've had people in here arguing with me that they don't have to pay a parking ticket because it's not a traffic violation," he said. "They try to tell me [the ticket's] not valid because the car wasn't moving, but a parking violation is a violation of a city ordinance."
Krawchyk said the new fines will be $25 for parking illegally in a space reserved for the handicapped, and $10 for all other parking violations.
All parking tickets are now $5.
He said even the new fines are low compared to those in some other municipalities. He's seen fines for parking in a handicapped space as high as $100.
One of the main problems here is the violation of the ordinance prohibiting parking on the street between 2 and 5:30 a.m. Many people leave cars parked on the street for several days at a time, he said.
Parking in areas clearly marked as no-parking zones is also a problem. Such areas are clearly marked with yellow curbing, stripes or signs, he said.
"We've had problems with people parking at the post office in front of the mailboxes, parking too close to the corner," he said.
Krawchyk said the department will consider special circumstances regarding the overnight parking ordinance.
If residents have company or are having a driveway paved, for example, they can request permission to park on the street.