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City of Spokane gives a gift instead of parking tickets

SPOKANE, Wash. – The City of Spokane parking enforcement will give out special tickets this year, but it’s not what you think.

It’s a courtesy parking ticket issued by the city of Spokane in conjunction with Downtown Spokane Business Improvement District. The ticket gives extra time instead of a citation, and encourages the owner to move their vehicle.

Business Improvement District Parking Manager Andrew Rolwes says the city started this program more than 10 years ago.

“It’s a program that we have in place mainly during the Christmas shopping season…sort of as a, you know, sign of gratitude for people coming downtown to Spokane to shop during the holiday season.”

Rolwes says Parking enforcement officers have 300 courtesy parking tickets to issue. A good portion will be given to cars with out-of-state plates to encourage them to shop in Spokane.

The tickets replace a normal fine, and can allow for extra time. For example, the ticket may say “90 more minutes” until a citation is issued, and so on. Rolwes says the city receives good feedback about the courtesy ticket every year.

“We usually get a couple of emails in January typically saying thanks for covering my parking ticket. That’s the intended effect, I believe, with the program.”

Getting out of a parking ticket may be just what some people need to boost their holiday cheer.

Copyright 2011 Spokane Public Radio

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