Therese Igharas is not surprised by Gainesville’s surge in parking tickets.
Igharas, a Gainesville resident who works in the city’s downtown, said one time she found a ticket on her car after parking for five minutes to grab her paycheck.
“They’re always out there ticketing us,” she said.
Igharas received two tickets in 2015, a small portion of the total 17,402 parking citations the city issued for the year. The total equates to a 47 percent increase from 2014. The result: $835,715 of revenue for Gainesville.
With 2,556 parking citations issued in the first seven weeks of 2016, another increase in the number of tickets issued is likely for this year, according to information collected by Gainesville’s Public Works Department.
According to the department, from 2010 to 2013, parking tickets were on the decline, with the upward trend in parking tickets beginning in 2014.
Gainesville public works spokesman Chip Skinner said there isn’t a way to know the exact reason for the rise in tickets, but an increase in construction in some areas may have led to people parking illegally.
“We have a number of metered spaces” people can get a ticket in, he said. “Some can be fined for parking in a handicapped space as well as different parking zones that we have throughout the city. Some apartment complexes have on-street parking, and the city has different decals that can be purchased.
“If you don’t have a decal, then you can, of course, be ticketed.”
The money collected from the citations flows back into the city’s general fund, Skinner said. The revenue from parking citations makes up less than 1 percent of the proposed general fund, and general-fund dollars go back into the community.
“That money can be used for anything from resurfacing roadways to purchasing equipment for our parks and recreation facilities,” Skinner said.