New crackdown planned on parking ticket scofflaws

People who have unpaid parking tickets would have to pay off the tickets to get a city vehicle sticker under an plan endorsed by Evanston’s parking committee Wednesday night.

The panel learned from city officials of a curious gap in the city code under which people who seek a residential parking permit or a permit to park in a city lot have to pay off their parking tickets to get one, but no such provision now applies to purchasers of city vehicle stickers.

Evanston Parking Manager Rickey Voss said city residents who’ve accumulated five tickets or more — and thus could have their cars booted, assuming parking enforcement officers found them, owe the town a total of $142,571 in unpaid tickets.

That’s 56 percent of the total owned by people with a bootable number of parking tickets — with most of the rest owed by residents of other Illinois communities. Only about 9 percent are from out-of-state.

Voss says the city boots about 70 cars a month and charges a $125 fee on top of the ticket costs to get the boot removed.

Voss said he didn’t know how many of the outstanding tickets may be owed by people who — though their cars were once registered in Evanston — either no longer live here or have switched cars.

The largest number of cars with a high number of parking tickets are registered to addresses in the city’s 2nd, 5th and 8th wards — which include some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in town.

The panel directed city staff to prepare an ordinance to impose the new rules by the time city sticker applications are mailed out in November.

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