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Royal Oak has extremely high rate of parking tickets

Report: 43% of Royal Oak visitors using parking meters ticketed
Report: 43% of Royal Oak visitors using parking meters ticketed 02:46

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Business owners and residents in downtown Royal Oak said the city's issue with its new parking meters must get better, or else people are going to avoid the area. 

"I see these people all day long, they will go around the block multiple times," said Henry Pardike, manager of UHF Records on Washington Avenue. 

Pardike said customers are getting fed up with the new camera parking meters. 

"More than anything, it's just a huge increase in complaints. Probably tenfold to what we used to have," Pardike said.

Next door at Lost & Found Vintage, Andrew Nazzaro agrees parking is a mess downtown, especially on Washington. 

"Parking should not be the biggest issue in a downtown area that's a pedestrian-heavy area for people to walk around in," Nazzaro said. 

Sentry parking meters were installed in the downtown area in late 2021. However, on Washington Avenue, vehicles are parked diagonally, but in reverse. After plenty of time has passed, it doesn't appear drivers can get the hang of it. 

"Eliminating the backing in would be the best solution," Pardike said. 

During Monday's city council meeting, city officials were presented data about the number of tickets being written and common reasons people were ticketed.

It was revealed that nearly half (43%) of drivers using the meters had been ticketed -- roughly 35,000 per month. At a minimum of $10 per ticket, the city is generating millions of dollars per year. 

There were suggested changes, such as extending the grace period from five minutes to 15 minutes, which would eliminate close to 10,000 tickets per month. 

Two-hour free parking is offered in any city-owned garage or lot. 

Royal Oak City Council is expected to discuss parking at their meeting next month. 

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