Reporting rogue parkers in downtown Santa Cruz

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I own a home on Washington Street in downtown Santa Cruz, and have not seen a meter person in weeks. I am tired of paying parking permits and not having the code enforced. I also want to know what we can do about the lack of enforcement on the weekend with the police department. Our neighborhood is once again allowing people to park vans, RVs and all sorts of vehicles starting on Friday night until Monday morning. I cannot find parking places any more and I no longer see meter monitors other than on the mall. And NO, I don't want to call the police every time I see a violator. What's up with this? This is lost revenue for the city. Thanks, Gilda Sasso, Santa Cruz A: In the downtown area, drivers are allowed to park for two or four hours from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, except by permit. From midnight to 6 a.m. daily, they are prohibited from parking downtown unless their vehicle has a permit, said Marlin Granlund, city parking manager. Officers with his office enforces parking regulations during the daytime on weekdays while the police department responds to complaints in the evenings. “There is no enforcement on weekend days, as it is not regulated,” Granlund explained. “Each street is not necessarily enforced each day as the enforcement area is very large. Each street is enforced two to three days per week and are on a two hour enforcement cycle, meaning that the enforcement officer will drive by and mark each vehicle and come back two hours later marking vehicles and citing vehicles that have stay longer than the two hour time limit. Unless someone is sitting on their front porch watching the street all day long they may not see the enforcement officer. Washington Street is only four blocks long so it does not take long to enforce that area.” To report parking issues during the day on weekdays, Granlund suggested you contact on-street parking services supervisor, Ted Donnelly, at 420-5181 or tdonnelly@cityofsantacruz.com. For parking problems the rest of the time, report them to the police department in person at 155 Center Street, anonymously by calling the tip line at 420-5995 or online at www.cityofsantacruz.com. Click on the “Report a Crime” tab. Start Smart Dec. 18 The California Highway Patrol is gearing up for its last Start Smart class of 2012. The free course teaches teens and their families about defensive driving, traffic laws, the dynamics of traffic collisions, tips on avoiding traffic collisions and DUI awareness. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for young people ages 15- to 20-years-old. The class is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 in the Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center Street. For information and/or to make a reservation, call the Santa Cruz CHP Office at 662-0511.
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