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Wednesday, May 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Know Spokane

A few more tidbits about Spokane’s parking tickets

Spokane parking enforcement officer Josh Weigelt gives a parking citation while patrolling downtown on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane parking enforcement officer Josh Weigelt gives a parking citation while patrolling downtown on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

We got a lot of comments on our inaugural column last week about parking tickets in downtown Spokane.


Thanks to cheap downtown parking tickets, we found some Spokane residents seem to budget weekly fines into their downtown parking expenses rather than pay for garage parking.


That was based on looking at 34 months of city parking tickets, from January 2014 through October 2016. During that time, parking enforcement officers wrote more than 180,000 tickets to at least 97,962 unique cars.


If you're curious what else we found in the data, look no further. Here are a few more tidbits:

1) Expired meters most common
Not surprisingly, most people get tickets for expired meters. To be precise, those citations made up 107,000 tickets, or 59 percent of the total.

The city logs tickets by the violation code, citing a specific city ordinance the driver violated.

We divided those up into 11 broad categories: meter violations, registration issues, parking in a prohibited area (such as a bike lane), disabled parking violations, overstaying time limits for particular types of parking, parking facing the wrong way, parking in a loading zone, non-passenger vehicle violations, airport violations and angle parking violations.

Angle parking had the fewest violations, with just 320 tickets, which makes sense, since there are very few angle parking spaces. Another 43 tickets didn’t have a violation code listed.

For individual violations, a handful of offenses only had one ticket each. Those included stopping or parking on a divided highway, parking in a bike lane and parking at a bagged meter in the city’s entertainment district.

2) Big retail rakes in disabled parking tickets
Parking enforcement officers wrote 11,785 tickets for disabled parking violations from 2014 to the end of October. The biggest offenders? Shopping centers, strip malls and large grocery store parking lots.

Tickets include parking in a disabled parking spot without a valid permit, as well as parking for longer than four hours in a metered parking spot downtown.

Shoppers at the Shadle Center at 2300 W Wellesley Ave, earned 462 disabled parking tickets, topping the list. Other popular locations include the Winco in North Spokane, the Northtown Mall and the busy block of East 29th Avenue near the intersection with Southeast Boulevard.

Among the top 10 locations, only one wasn’t a retail area: the 100 block of West 8th Avenue, where Sacred Heart Medical Center is located.

3) Airport tickets declining
Just under 600 tickets were for parking offenses at Spokane International Airport, which includes overstaying meter time. But the number of tickets written based on the airport’s total passenger volume has declined for the past two years.

In 2014, almost 3 million passengers flew in and out of the airport, and 271 of them got tickets. For every 100,000 passengers, the airport could expect to see about 9.1 tickets.

By the end of October, that number had declined to just 4.1 tickets per 100,000 passengers.



Rachel Alexander
Rachel Alexander came to the Spokesman-Review in 2014 after working for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She covers social services, health and science for the City Desk and writes a monthly data-focused column, Know Spokane.

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