By Dan Byford SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)— While the snow has melted away in Syracuse, odd/even parking tickets, especially in the Syracuse University Neighborhood, are here to stay. Odd/even parking rules mandate that all cars be parked on the same side of the road on certain streets. Additionally, cars are expected to move to the opposite side of the street every day at a a certain time (most commonly 6:00 p.m but in some areas 9:00 p.m). Thirteen of the top 15 most ticketed streets for odd/even violations are in residential areas immediately around Syracuse University. The parking violation meant to clear the road for snow plows increases even more during the summer. The already high ratio jumps to 16 out of the top 17.
Common Council Majority Leader Steve Thompson says that odd/even tickets were never meant to be a tool for the city to collect revenue, but rather to allow for roads to be plowed safely, but as of 2016, more are actually issued during the spring and summer than during the winter and fall.
Whether the tickets were intended to levy funds or not, Councilor Tim Rudd is of the mind that the city should maximize the money making potential of odd/even parking.
“I think fines should be increased so [the city] can raise more revenue,” said Rudd.
Odd/even tickets are the second most issued of any type in the city and violators say this is because the parking rule is unclear.
“I originally got all my tickets because I didn’t understand what side of the road I was supposed to park on,” Fiona Carroll, a Syracuse student living at Park Point who now has three tickets for odd/even violations said. “The signs are so confusing”.
Councilor Steve Thompson understands how Carrol feels:
“I’ll be honest, I’ve been confused when I pull up sometimes,” Thompson said.
Councilor Thompson understands the signs may not be clear enough for some and would like to see the city tweak them to make the instructions on the signs more comprehensible. Councilor Rudd on the other hand doesn’t understand the confusion.
By 9:00 p.m, three hours after cars are supposed to shift which side of the road they’re parked on, about 42 percent of the day’s odd/even tickets have been issued. By the time the clock strikes ten, that number jumps to 52.2 percent. This means that odd/even violators are most vulnerable to being ticketed in the nine o’clock hour.
This doesn’t mean that people are never ticketed immediately after they’re supposed to switch though, something SU student Lauren Farrell experienced firsthand.
“I was stuck on one side of the road and I knew I would get a ticket for it,” Farrell said, recalling an experience where she said she was watched by a police officer while trying to move her car out of the snow. “There was nothing I could do. And this police officer just kept looking at me and watching me and I finally retreated inside, very upset because I knew I would get a ticket for a very stupid rule, and it was just very rude.”
There is no immediate change on the coming for this rule, the fines or the signs but there are some important things to know to avoid getting a ticket.
- There’s a website where the city lists what side of the road to park on everyday.
- One of the major catalysts for ticket revenue according to Councilor Thompson was football games but even more people attended basketball games over the course of the season so if you plan on going to a game, you may want to hitch a ride.
- Walnut Place is the most ticketed area for odd/even violations, so if you need to go there and parking is scarce, you may want to park somewhere else.
- Tuesday is the day the most tickets are issued so if you can avoid parking in odd/even areas it’s probably a good idea.