Strict Enforcement Of Grand Rapids Odd/Even Parking Frustrates Neighbors

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-10 18:24:55-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –  As West Michigan thaws from the arctic blast and people begin heading out to their vehicles some who live near downtown Grand Rapids tell FOX 17 they are finding cars plowed in, ticketed, or both.

Frustrations are setting in but police said the tickets will still be handed out.

Those who live or park in a neighborhood with odd/even parking signs likely know what that means, a 20 dollar ticket for those who don’t obey.

Some people like Dyani Havercamp think the rule isn’t working properly, “The time that I parked there, and got ticketed, it wasn’t plowed at all.  Even after people aren’t parking here they still don’t plow where you can park which makes it difficult to park.”

Lt. Mike Maycroft with the Grand Rapids Police Department said odd/even parking is designed specifically for heavy snowfalls.

“The theory is on the next day, when they move to the other side of the street, we can get the other side cleared out as well,” said Lt. Maycroft.

He said it’s a matter of public safety, “If you are the one that is going to need that ambulance of that fire truck, you are going to want them to be able to get there.

Police said more often than not a ticket is written based on a tip from a neighbor who is following the rules.

“We receive dozens of complaints everyday of people who are not adhering to the odd/even parking rules and we send our officers out there to take care of that,” he said.

Since November of 2013, Lt. Maycroft said the Grand Rapids police have issued 5,387 odd/even parking tickets at $20.00 a piece.

In that same time period last year, just 152 odd/even parking tickets were handed out.  Police said it’s important to note that Grand Rapids only had a total of 9 inches of snow by this time last year.

“I realize that with the heavy snow it can be difficult to get back over to that side but we have to ask our residents to do the best they can,” said Lt. Maycroft.

If you assume each ticket issued will be paid in full, it would total $107,740.  Police said despite public opinion that the tickets issued are about making money, they would argue it’s about changing a behavior in the name of public safety.

For more on the odd/even parking rules please check the City’s website.