Starting Feb. 1, Denver parking fines are going up for the first time in fifteen years, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Friday. Why? The current fines aren’t incentivizing people to keep their parking legal.
Most parking no-nos will incur fines of $10 or higher, but drivers who make the city less accessible for other modes of transportation — from feet, to bikes to wheelchairs and even fellow motorists — are going to be punished harder.
“As Denver encourages the use of alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking and taking transit to reduce vehicle congestion, it must also encourage good driver behavior to ensure pedestrian walkways and bike lanes are kept clear and that people with disabilities have accessible parking,” DOTI explained in the announcement.
Right now if you park or block a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk, you’re fined $25. Starting Tuesday, it’ll be $65.
Park in an accessible space, and you’ll be charged $350 — or $200 more than the current $150 fine.
Large vehicles will now be charged $250 instead of $25 for parking violations. This is an attempt to push companies like Amazon, UPS and AAA, whose drivers regularly park illegally as part of daily business, to heed the law — not just pay for the right to violate it.
“The City has seen a rise in large vehicles, such as semitrucks and large business trucks, using residential neighborhoods to park,” DOTI noted. “Not only does this take up valuable curbside space, but it also interferes with the quality, enjoyment, and safety of the people who live in those neighborhoods.”
So how much will these fines net for the city? A whopping $6.4 million this year, according to the agency, all of which will be spent on future mobility and safety improvements.