MILWAUKEE - The number of parking tickets issued in error at Milwaukee’s multi-space parking meters increased since 2011, despite the city’s attempts to get a handle on the reasons behind the problem.
According to records provided by Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works, 3,686 tickets were voided because of multi-space meter related issues in 2012 – an average of 14.5 tickets a day.
That is a 22 percent increase over 2011, when 3,001 tickets were voided for the same reasons.
Multi-space meters allow people to park in a numbered spot on Milwaukee’s streets and then pay with coin or credit card at a nearby kiosk.
Tickets are issued in error for a number of reasons, according to the city’s Public Works Department.
A spokesperson explained those reasons include communication delays between the meters and handheld ticket writing computers used by parking checkers, and times when parking checkers write a ticket faster than a kiosk can process a payment.
Halfway through the year, Public Works began differentiating between different types of multi-space meter voids.
DPW records now note if a ticket was voided because of parking checker error or what a spokesperson called “enhanced customer service.”
For example, if a person pays the meter yet inputs the incorrect space number, the ticket is still valid but voided as a courtesy.
When the tickets voided for “enhanced customer service” are removed from the number of voids, the average daily error rate drops to 12.
Public Works insists the error rate is small compared to the number of tickets issued.
In 2012, parking checkers wrote more than 780,000 tickets.
Those citations netted the city $22 million in parking fines.