In 2015, the city of New Orleans issued 354,000 parking tickets—enough, in New Orleans metrics, to nearly cover a football field, to make 36 laps around the one-mile dirt track at the Fair Grounds, or to reach the top of One Shell Square 268 times. The city also issued $10.24 million in parking fines, and collected $9.3 million. That’s according to NOLA.com, which started a series this week investigating parking tickets and policy in the city.
The series is well-timed, considering the city’s raising of parking violation fees and extending of meter hours this past year has some wondering if this whole parking ticket thing is a safety initiative or a money-grab.
To that claim Mark Jernigan, the director of New Orleans Public Works Department who is quoted in the first article of the series, says fines don’t go directly back to parking enforcement—fines are "really meant to discourage illegal parking, to encourage people to park correctly," he said.
The NOLA.com package includes a "heatmap" showing where parking tickets are issued most often in the city; not surprisingly, you’re most likely to get a ticket in the French Quarter, Warehouse District, or CBD. Magazine’s commercial sections are ticketing hot-spots, and other ticket influxes go according to the New Orleans events calendar.
There’s also a piece on how New Orleans stacks up in ticketing when compared to other cities, and one about how Freret Street has resisted parking meters, despite the increased popularity of the commercial corridor.