July 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Seattle’s parking boot reaps $2.2 million — so far
The city of Seattle is collecting more money than expected from the parking-boot program that started a year ago.
The city has collected $2.074 million in boot-release fees and $136,000 in fees to remove cars from impounds, says the city’s latest report, covering the three quarters ending March 31 (the program started July 5, 2011). A total 2,713 vehicles were booted, and 318 of those were towed when an owner failed to arrange a payment plan for the fines within 48 hours.
Parking-enforcement officers attach the yellow steel device to a car wheel if the owner has four or more unpaid parking fines, and then the owner calls a hotline in New Jersey to arrange either a cash or time-payment plan. Then the call center gives the owner a code to release the boot and return it to police. The city’s frequently asked questions are shown here. The city’s income doesn’t include a $145 fee that PayLock charges for boot release, as described in this news story.
The TD Wang Advertising Group highlighted the numbers in an announcement Monday, that the city will start a new publicity effort this summer, saying the longer people wait, the more they pay, in late fees and potential boot fees. There will ads on buses, in print, television, and radio. Some materials will be presented in Amharic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
About 75 vehicles a week are booted, with high concentrations in the U District, Belltown, and Capitol Hill — advertisers say they will target young, active adults who drive in these areas. Other clusters are in the Central Area and lower Queen Anne.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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