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Concern and confusion: New parking meter system in Downtown Omaha a pain point for some drivers

What parking officers are looking for
Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 19, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Parking attendants are looking at a whole list of violations but it could also just be a warning.

Reporter Molly Hudson received a warning citation from Park Omaha, in the Old Market. The violation listed – an expired meter. She paid for two hours, using the mobile app. About 10 minutes after she paid, the warning was placed on her windshield, but why?

"With any change there is going to be bumps along the way and certainly we are aware of that and will address it," said Ken Smith, the city’s parking and mobility manager. “We are issuing those warnings, kind of more as an advice."

Molly shared the citation on Nextdoor and learned others had experienced something similar, with the parking meter changes, that launched earlier this year.
Park Omaha told Molly — the warning was likely human error.

"You can upload images, which would be your receipt and the citation there and our staff would look at that and say, ‘yeah that was an error’," said Smith.

If you find an error on a ticket, it's important you go through that adjudication process because although it is just a warning, "It indicates to the officer, next time they write it, it will be a full citation," said Smith.

So, what do the parking officers see?

"A lot of people think we are targeting them, then I am thinking, that’s not the case,” said Mike Bradley, a parking officer with Park Omaha. "I am going to go to zone 103 and this is everybody that should be here."

Mike Bradley has been with Park Omaha for eight years. We walked with him in the Old Market, to see his process.

Bradley looks at each zone, his device pulls up a full list of the license plates that are paid to park in the zone.

If officers, like Bradley, find a violation, they start the citation process. They fill out the electronic form with the car details including, the license plate, make, model, zone and the violation. They take pictures too.

Depending on citation history, it could be a warning or a ticket you must pay. It prints and you’ll come out to the citation on your windshield.

"It's different, so it's a learning curve for all of us," said Bradley.

If you receive a ticket and turn it over, details on how to contest the ticket are at the very bottom. To find more details about the process on the Park Omaha website, click here.

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