Rifle’s new parking limit angers some
RIFLE – Teresa Shahrokh, a 25-year resident of Rifle, was shocked when she came out to her car from a downtown office Tuesday afternoon and found a parking ticket on the windshield.Shahrokh is one of more than 200 people so far who have received either a warning or a $10 parking ticket since city council members enacted a two-hour parking limit in the downtown business and some residential areas last month.Although there has, technically, been a two-hour limit for downtown parking since the late 1970’s, the city hasn’t enforced it for years since the boom busted in the gas industry. The issue was brought up again by the Downtown Development Authority in response to complaints by some business owners that people were parking for long periods of time in front of their stores instead of allowing customers to come and go.Council approved the hiring of a parking enforcement officer, who began her duties in April.According to Police Chief Daryl Meisner, 176 warning tickets were issued during an initial grace period and about 40 “real” tickets have been issued since Monday.”In our opinion, we’ve had very few calls or complaints,” Meisner said.But Shahrokh said she doesn’t feel there is adequate signage informing drivers of the parking limits nor are residents aware of the new enforcement.”Nobody knows about it,” she said. “And I never saw a sign. There was one, but it was facing the other way on the street. It’d be nice if they were visible.”Meisner said new signs, posts and information were posted at the beginning of each block when the enforcement took effect.Tickets are $10 for each two-hour period it is over the limit. If a car is parked for six hours over limit, the ticket would be $30.Shahrokh said she’ll pay her $10 ticket, but thinks more people should have been made aware of the new enforcement.”It’s not enough to go to court and fight it,” she said. “But nobody knows about it. Out of 30 people I talked to, three people knew.”For more information about the parking restrictions, contact the Rifle Police Department at 625-2271.
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