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Eau Claire police ticketing fewer cars for calendar parking violations

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The Eau Claire Police Department strictly enforces calendar parking regulations.  It says not knowing the ordinance is not an excuse.
 

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- No matter where you go in Eau Claire, police say they have ran into issues with people that are not parking on the correct side of the street overnight.

The rule says if it is an odd-numbered date, park on the odd side of the street.

If it is an even-numbered date, park on the even side.

That part is easy to remember. Here is where it sometimes gets tricky.

"Enforcement starts at midnight, the date starts at midnight," said Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department.

The calendar parking goes through 7:00 a.m.

The alternate calendar parking rule went into effect on November 1st. Since then police have ticketed a little more than 3,200 cars which is an average of 25 per night.

The fine is $30. But that can quickly grow if you don't pay it on time.

"After a period of time the Department of Transportation will suspend your license and that's something that can incur additional charges and additional issues," Roder said.

Officer Roder says the majority of citations are issued on densely populated streets like Chippewa, Broadway, Niagra and 5th Avenue. A large amount happen near UW-Eau Claire where several cars are parked on the street each night.

"I've had to move my car a lot and figure out where to put it to not get a ticket," said Leah Engebretson, a UWEC student.

"If you're having fun or if you're just, doesn't matter what you are doing just have to remember to move your car," said Justin Cook, a UWEC student.

Meanwhile Erick Carlson who went to UW-Eau Claire and now lives in Minneapolis doesn't mind the system. He is used to snow emergency days there where you have to go online to see if you need to move your car.

"And so you got to be on top of that, where this in Eau Claire is nice to know what day of the week or month rather than check a website," he said.

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A community's officers have handed out fewer tickets for calendar parking violations than at the same time last year.

On Friday, Eau Claire police told WEAU 13 News they've handed out 3,238 of those tickets between November 1, 2013 and Friday morning. Last year at this point, the department had ticketed 5,051 cars and trucks for calendar parking violations. Each ticket comes with a $30 fine. A department spokesman wasn't sure what the reason for the decrease is. He did mention that the department hasn't had the ability to enforce the ordinance that it has in the past because fewer officers are available at night.

All roads in the City of Eau Claire are subject to calendar parking rules. It started November 1, 2013, and runs through May 1. The regulations are in effect between midnight at 7 a.m. every day. On odd-numbered days, you can only park, stop or leave your vehicle standing on the side of the street that has odd-numbered addresses. On even-numbered days, you can only park, stop, or leave your vehicle standing on the side of the street that has even-numbered addresses. The ordinance allows the city to plow each side of city streets effectively after a snowfall.


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