Fort Worth

Parking illegally in Fort Worth may get more expensive. Here’s why

Fort Worth residents will pay more for expired parking meters if the City Council votes in favor new fine rates.

A proposal before the council Tuesday would increase the fine from $30 to $40 for unpaid meters. It’s one of 10 fines the council will consider increasing, including the fine for oversized commercial trucks, which will go up by more than five times the current rate.

Parking in a disabled space will go up to $200 from $155. Parking in a fire lane would also go up to $200 and the fee for parking in a no parking zone would increase $35 to $60 per ticket.

The new rates would take effect Jan. 1.

City staff arrived at the new fees by looking at parking in five other major Texas cities, according to city documents.

For 10 parking ticket rates, Fort Worth’s fees were on average 51 percent lower than those in El Paso, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

On average drivers in those cities spend $451 for parking illegally in a disabled spot, $120 for illegally parking an oversized truck and $37 for letting their meter expire.

Fort Worth City Councilman Cary Moon sees increasing fines as a smart revenue generator.

“This is an example of what we can do across the board to create revenue without going to taxpayers,” he said.

A dramatic increase for parking oversized trucks illegally should mean residents will see fewer 18-wheelers parked in their neighborhood.

Truck drivers now pay $35 for a parking ticket. The new fee would be $200.

The increase combats the growing number of 18-wheelers parking on streets, while generating more revenue for the city, Moon said. Moon’s district includes parts of far north Fort Worth, a hot spot for trucks parking on residential streets.

“Our officers would write a ticket and the driver would happily pay, come back and park again,” he said. “It’s just a cost of doing business.”

Commercial trucks parking on residential streets has been a problem in parts of Fort Worth for years, Moon said. With Interstate 35, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and significant railroad traffic, the region is a major center for shipping.

In homeowners associations across the northern part of the city, neighbors began complaining about trucks clogging streets, so the city first revamped a trailer ordinance, Moon said. That wasn’t enough.

A September report found truck parking is a national issue with impacts across the region. In DFW, it’s worse on the outskirts of the largest cities where truckers have a hard time finding parking.

According to the report, Interstate 35W north of downtown is a “corridor of concern.” Other North Texas spots included I-20 and I-30 in Parker County, I-45 and I-20 in south Dallas, I-35E and I-635 in north Dallas, and I-635 in east Dallas.

The report offered several recommendations. Among them:

Build short-term truck parking facilities on underused public land.

Foster partnerships between local governments and private companies or land owners to create parking locations.

Use electronic signs on highways to inform drivers of places where parking is available.

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