Bellingham will look at parking ticket updates next month

Parking meters in downtown Bellingham.
Parking meters in downtown Bellingham. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

It could be a few weeks before the city decides whether to double some parking fines and extend street parking hours.

In committee Monday morning, Sept. 22, councilmembers Terry Bornemann, Jack Weiss and Michael Lilliquist asked staff to come back with more statistics supporting proposed updates to the city’s parking ordinance before they recommended the whole council take a look.

Bornemann wanted to see a breakdown of where exactly the money goes from parking fines issued downtown and whether that money is used for enforcement elsewhere in the city.

One proposed update would double tickets for overstaying time at a meter, making them $20.

Assistant Director of Public Works Eric Johnston said his best offhand guess was that 85 percent of tickets are issued downtown but only about 65 percent of parking enforcement revenue comes from those tickets.