City of Buchanan raises parking ticket fees to combat traffic violations

NOW: City of Buchanan raises parking ticket fees to combat traffic violations

BUCHANAN, Mi. -- Residents and business owners have all noticed increased traffic in downtown Buchanan, as customers frequenting businesses-- including the several dispensaries-- have brought with them increased traffic violations, such as parking in non-designated spots or in front of hydrants, parking cars in spaces longer than they're supposed to, or leaving their cars out overnight.

“Parking gets crazy downtown," said Eric Gaunt, who works in a downtown shop. 

Issuing traffic tickets wasn't solving the issue.

According to acting Police Chief Harvey Burnett "Someone may get a violation, and it's five dollars. Does that really help to remind people to say ‘hey, I need to be more cognizant of where I need to park?’”

Some residents even said that police issuing so many tickets was creating bottlenecks. 

So this week, the city decided to take a new step to help kick traffic violations in town to the curb.

“As of July first, an initial citation for any parking violation is going to be twenty-five dollars," said Chief Burnett. 

It's a 500% increase that the city of Buchanan and Chief Burnett believe will be difficult for potential violators to ignore. 

Chief Burnett even took the announcement of the fee increase to businesses downtown-- and while some wish there wasn't a need to increase the fee, they understand it's the right move. 

“The majority of businesses were very appreciative, saying ‘this is a good thing, glad to see it happening,'" said Burnett. "It’s been a long time coming for some that have been here for a while.

Gaunt said “I hate to see all the people coming into town spending money getting tickets, but we also have to keep traffic going and we have keep things moving good for the city too.”

The fee increase also affects late payments of the tickets.

A $25 ticket not paid in five days becomes $50, and if it is not paid in fifteen days, it becomes $75.

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