Parking in downtown Johnson City is prime real estate.
Now Johnson City Police are stepping up their efforts to crack down on drivers they say are
overstaying their welcome.
Since April, Chief Mark Sirois tells us nearly 500 parking citations have been issued
in “2-hour” spots in the heart of downtown.
On Wednesday afternoon we walked around with officer Todd Moody as he made his rounds, looking for those violating the 2-hour parking limit.
“I take the chalk stick, and I mark the spot on the tire either on the tread, or side wall, and that way when I come back through 2 hours later I can tell if the vehicle has been moved or not,” said Moody.
Moody told us just yesterday he wrote more than a dozen tickets, and some of those are repeat offenders.
“There is probably 10 or 12 repeat offenders that you could get almost every day,” said Moody.
Those repeat offenders are who Johnson City Police are targeting with a proposed ordinance.
The ordinance specifically calls out people who have three or more tickets they still need to pay, allowing police to then place a boot, or similar device on the vehicle.
Chief Mark Sirois says if the ordinance passes they will enlist the help of a towing company.
“Place a boot or immobilization device on the vehicle,” said Sirois.
So, if you hold off on paying those tickets, it will actually end up costing you much more.
“If its towed there will be the cost of towing, and if its stored there will be cost of storage,” said Sirois.
People who work downtown, like Jeffrey Roy, say this ordinance would be a welcomed change.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life in the city of Chicago, and booting is quite common for people who don’t pay tickets, I do believe it works and motivates people,” said Roy.
Others we spoke to downtown agreed.
“They should have some consequences where you don’t keep doing it, the same thing over and over,” said Matt Smith.
In the end, Chief Sirois says its all about getting people to read the signs, and follow the rules.
The proposed ordinance that would allow police to immobilize a vehicle with a boot is up for discussion at a Johnson City commission meeting that started at 6pm on Wednesday.
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