LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A restaurant manager says businesses downtown can blossom, the seats can fill if parking on the outside is flowing
“We have to keep it going,” says Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant and Bar General Manager Crystal Dear. “There should be a consequence for not parking properly.”
You could say the City of Little Rock is now leaning on the boot for unpaid parking tickets.
“Some people say, ‘Why pay it?” says Little Rock Parking Enforcement Coordinator Marvin Benton. “Definitely abusing the system.”
Benton says every dime counts.
City records show one woman owes more than $10,000 in unpaid parking fines with 219 citations, another owes nearly $7,000. Most unpaid fines range from $250-$1,550. All the unpaid fines total up to more than $240,000.
“We got people out there that have been getting tickets for years and have no intentions on paying,” says Benton.
The Little Rock Board of Directors approved an ordinance authorizing vehicles with more than $250 in fines to be booted, which is like a wheel clamp disabling a car from driving until another fee is paid on top of the unpaid fines.
“If you get a parking ticket and don’t pay [in 30 days] it’ll go up to $50 so it doesn’t take very long if you get two or three parking tickets and you don’t pay them,” says Benton.
If a car stays on the street for more than 24 hours after it’s booted, it will be towed away.
John Ekeanyanwu, who visits downtown Little Rock for business, believes the city should have more communication with drivers before booting but believes people should follow the law.
“I’m having a meeting. It’s running a little over. I know I have to come here and put some money, so I know I don’t get a parking ticket,” says Ekeanyanwu.
Dear says it’s very important.
While she prepares for the dinner rush, she hopes traffic has the same flow.
“Plenty of parking and moving all the time,” says Dear.