Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New parking ordinance adds details, reduces fines

By Patrick Thompson
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

A revised parking ordinance is in effect in Midway as a result of a unanimous vote on second reading at a city council meeting last month.

Parking violations are now listed in more detail and a consistent scheme of fines has been added, according to City Attorney Phil Moloney.

More fines have been added to the ordinance, but existing fines’ costs have been reduced. If a fine is paid within 48 hours of the violation at Midway City Hall, it is reduced by five dollars.

The allotted time frame for a fine to be paid has become more lenient. A person now has 15 days to pay a fine, after which it will be doubled in value. If the fine remains unpaid for 30 days, the city is to institute prosecution with the Woodford County attorney.

The revised sections of the ordinance deal with manner of parking, parking on a parade route, parking with handicapped permits, owner responsibility, restrictions imposed by the city council, parking violations and penalties in the general provisions section.

The council decided to drop a section that would have banned diagonal parking where the space required would be within 10 feet of the center line of the street. The issue was raised because parking on Gratz Street had been a problem. Motorists are hesitant to pull their cars up to the curb because of potential damage to their bumpers, so the back ends of the vehicles sometimes obstruct the narrow street.

Council Member Joy Arnold suggested restricting the spaces to compact cars only, but that was not included in the changes. “Though I expressed doubt as to exactly what Assistant Chief Fugate had been asked, the mayor assured everyone that he had said the language was not needed,” said Arnold.

Versailles police, who have countywide jurisdiction and patrol Midway, asked for the changes to harmonize the city’s ordinance with the one in Versailles.

The revised ordinance gives any authorized law enforcement officer the authority to restrict parking and erect temporary signs to that effect in the event of a procession. Language was added to the section on parking with handicapped permits, to restrict handicapped parking in “No Stopping” or “No Parking” zones.

A new section was added on owner responsibility, stating that if the owner of a vehicle is not apparent or cannot be determined, it will be assumed that the registered owner was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation. However, that presumption can be rebutted in court.

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