MODESTO, Calif. — Patrick Bruner enjoys taking breaks downtown from his classes Modesto Junior College
It's the food and the coffee that the accounting major is a fan of. But what he isn't a fan of is the soon-to-be higher parking fines if he stays past his two-hour parking limit.
"Honestly, I think it's kind of nuts, " Bruner said. "Just because there's not enough parking as it is, you know. And the parking that they do have in the structures is expensive."
The Modesto City Council voted Tuesday night to increase over 50 municipal code parking violation fines. Some fines will more than double, or will close to double, in their amounts.
For example, break the law in a timed limit parking spot, the fine goes from $33 to $52. If you park too long in a metered spot, the fine jumps from $33 to $53.
Say you have no luck finding a parking space and you decide to park in a red zone. Now you're looking at a $43 fine soaring to a $90 fine.
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"The reality is they haven't been increased in quite awhile — many years," said City of Modesto spokesman Thomas Reeves.
Reeves said the increased fines for those who park over time is what businesses have been asking for. Although, several business owners told ABC10 that they either had no opinion, no comment or didn't like the fine increase at all.
"Increasing those fines is really one deterrent to hopefully curb that sense of parking longer than people should be," Reeves added.
The deterrent is one thing that disabled drivers like Margaret Bettencourt are an agreement with the city. But, not so much with increased fines.
"Well, it's for the city," Bettencourt said. "The guys want to make more money."
Right now, the city expects to bring in $649,000 from fines for the current budget year. It expects to gain $901,837 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Modesto is looking to use the approximate $250,000 in increased revenue for new technology parking meters and enforcement. The new fines go into effect May 1.
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