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May 14, 2014 9:52 PM by Sean Mooney

Getting word out to parallel parking challenged on Streetcar route

TUCSON - With the Sunlink Modern Streetcar just months away from it's official roll out, downtown drivers have to curb their old ways of parking.

When parallel parking, downtown drivers must park no more than 18 inches from the curb.
But not everyone is on track and some have already found out the price of blocking the modern streetcar's path.

During a visit from Phoenix, Cindy Howard made the mistake of parking on Congress too far from the curb, it turned out to be a very expensive lunch, "$188 is the cost for the ticket and $50 was for the tow", Howard said, "I don't know why, it seems very tight. It seems if they are going to be running that, they should be giving you more room to let us park."

Howard was allowed to pay on the spot and got her car back. It was a $238 lesson she won't soon forget.

The City of Tucson Parkwise Administrator, Donovan Durband, says the city is doing its best to spread the word about proper parking, "We're putting signage along Fourth Avenue, Congress Street and Broadway. Just trying to make people more aware, we painted the lines for a reason and please stay within those lines."

That movement prompted the posting of a new Facebook page, "The Bad Downtown Parking Hall of Shame". The creator of the page, Emmy Simpson, says what started as a site to post pictures of offending vehicles, has grown in to something more, "It's kind of developing into something I never thought of, basic education, letting the powers that be see what we're facing as merchants, as pedestrians, and try to open people's eyes as to what we're doing down there and how we are parking and how it effects other folks."

No matter how well you park on Congress, it is still a tight squeeze for the streetcar. If you happen to be riding on a streetcar that gets held up by a protruding car, be prepared to wait. At that point a call for towing will have to be made. But, according to Donovan Durband, the city is determined to make that wait a short one, "We are working on having the ability to having a tower come hopefully within 10 minutes or so to a phone call for these spaces here on Congress or on Fourth Avenue."

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