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Burbank Leader

Officers issue fewer parking tickets, revenues decline

By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

4:03 PM PST, January 29, 2013

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Parking ticket revenues for the city took a dive last year — dropping roughly $500,000 to just under $2 million — as police are issuing fewer citations.

It’s a trend officials attribute to increased vigilance among drivers to dodge parking fines as they struggle in the rough economy.

Since 2008, annual parking ticket revenues had hovered around $2.5 million, according to statistics released by the Burbank Police Department.

The money goes into the city’s General Fund, which pays for most public services.

The number of parking tickets issued in Burbank has been declining steadily over the past five years. Parking control officers issued 50,918 parking tickets last year, a 24% drop from 66,952 issued in 2008.

“In the last couple years, [drivers have] started to be very careful where they park, what they do, because they don’t want to get a ticket,” said Parking Citation Supervisor Lyn DeBoever.

Motorists are especially watchful now, she said, because parking fines have gone up by $10 to $13, depending on the violation, over the past few years.

DeBoever recalled residents who, in the past, were cited for street-sweeping violations every week.

“It catches up with them after a while,” she said.

The most common tickets issued are street-sweeping violations, for which police logged 27,407 violations last year, down from 27,865 in 2011 and a hefty decline from 32,628 in 2008.

Violations for exceeding the posted time limit netted the second highest number of tickets, but the total has still declined over the years. Last year, 10,077 overtime tickets were issued, compared to 16,481 in 2008.

Other common violations included expired registration, parking in a red zone and parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, statistics show.

About a quarter of parking tickets issued in Burbank weren’t paid last year and another 10% to 15% were contested, which could have also contributed to the sharper-than-usual revenue decline in 2012, DeBoever said.

“They’ll say, ‘I don’t have a job, financially I can’t pay it,’” DeBoever said. “Everyone’s having rough times.”

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.