PARKING PROBLEMS: Des Moines Issuing Tickets

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Des Moines residents should take heed of new parking rules Thursday, if they don’t, they can expect a $35 ticket waiting on their windshield.

The city of Des Moines changed the snow parking ordinance last year, but gave residents the first two winter storms to get up to speed on how it worked. Thursday is the first time the city will issue tickets instead of warnings it you are parked in the wrong area.

Neighborhoods affected by the change include Carpenter, Drake, Drake Park, River Bend and Sherman hill.

Even or odd, left or right, 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. when it’s time for snow removal, some residents get confused.

“I believe its 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. you cars have to be on the appropriate street,” Sherman Hill resident H. Pitschmann said.

And having to move their cars to the other side of the street, just so the plow can get through, can be quite the task.

“It can get pretty tricky when there is a storm and it gets really ice around here, I know the first storm was pretty rough. The hills were icy, just getting your car on the other side of the street was a huge challenge,” Pitschmann explained.

But Pat Kozitza with Des Moines Public Works says, it’s got be done. “We want to clear these streets, but we have to move the cars to do it.”

So here's how it works: Park on the odd side of the street on odd numbered days or on even days park on the even side of the street.

Kozitza's says people have had trouble adjusting to change, “We have worked very, very hard to get the word out to educate people. We have had mailings, inserts, we `ve had direct mail to our residential areas.”

And after the two other big storms they hope people have learned which side is the right side.

“Everyone has to come to grips with being on the right side of the street at the right time,” said Kozitza.

The city says they gave out over 2,000 warnings is each storm we’ve had this winter.

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