DC blizzard parking tickets soar

If you live in D.C.’ the city  wants you to know it’s serious about enforcing the parking bans.

Since the blizzard began last week, the District has issued $1,078,000 worth of parking tickets and $65,600 in fines so far. It has towed 656 cars.

According to reports, until the snow emergency expires, the District will continue to ticket and tow vehicles parked or abandoned on any snow emergency route (PDF), or considered to be road hazards. Crews are trying to plow streets from curb to curb, officials said, and vehicles parked in the way of plows will have to be removed.

Cars parked in a traffic lane on any road that are deemed a hazard or a barrier to snow removal may also be towed.

Vehicles are being towed at the owners’ expense. Violators face $250 tickets, $100 tow charges and a $25-per-day fee until they pick up their vehicles.

“Don’t park your car illegally, and that includes parking it kind of in the middle of the street next to the snow bank,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday. Cars should be parked no more than 12 inches from a curb, not a snow bank, or drivers risk a ticket, she said.

But many drivers said they simply couldn’t move their cars from emergency routes after the blizzard dropped two feet of snow on the District.

“They gave me a $250 ticket just for being snowed in. I couldn’t get no help,” driver Danielle Smith said

This storm will easily rank among the region’s five worst, Storm Team4 said, and the cleanup is taking days. Temperatures across the area are expected to drop again overnight, creating icy conditions on many of the region’s roads Thursday.