Downtown Plymouth Parking Comes Under Greater Scrutiny

The Plymouth Board of Works could soon be considering enforcement changes to downtown parking.

A local merchant lodged complaints with the Plymouth Police Department on several occasions, but due to what the business owner considered lacking responses, he took the matter up with the Board of Works.

Jeff O’Dell says he conducted quite a bit of research before making the complaints.

“Parking tickets are not the same as speeding tickets, running stop signs, etc,” says O’Dell. “I didn’t know that. I was frustrated, the number of tickets these violators were getting, and not once did it seem to phase them.”

Plymouth’s Downtown contains several public parking lots, but is also home to apartments and parking limitations, such as: time limits.

Police Chief Dave Bacon provided the Plymouth Board of Works with information detailing their parking enforcement efforts from the past several years – which often ranged in the hundreds of tickets. Plymouth has a $2 parking ticket fee, but the figure steps up with each subsequent ticket.

Becky Carswell handles downtown parking enforcement as part of her duties with the Plymouth Police Force. She says she gets complaints if she does her job, and complaints if she doesn’t.

“I have never had a businessman complain about parking as much as Mr. O’Dell has,” says Carswell. “We have other responsibilities. I have other responsibilities.”

Board members said it’s important to enforce parking ordinances, but questioned why the ticket fees were not an incentive for park correctly, and not leave cars for extended periods.

The Board of Works agreed to investigate the matter further.