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Downtown parking enforcement to begin, patrolled by BRPD

1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, March 28 2024 Mar 28, 2024 March 28, 2024 6:29 PM March 28, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - If you work in or visit downtown Baton Rouge, chances are you have experienced parking. It's not always easy, and has taken the City-Parish many years to transition from coin-fed machines to card-reading kiosks and pay-by-app.

Alas, parking kiosks were installed downtown in the fall of 2022 and a year, and a half later, the city is finally ready to enforce violators.

Baton Rouge Police will start writing tickets for those who are parked without paying or staying beyond the allotted time on Monday, April 29. Police have already been writing tickets for drivers parked illegally in handicap spots or loading zones.

Captain Brian Blake is the 5th District Commander and will have 23 officers patrolling streets Downtown keeping drivers in check. Each officer is equipped with a hand-held tablet that allows them to look up a driver's parking information.

"They can go down the road, they can type in the license plate and it's going to show whether they paid the meter, did not pay the meter, or they're past their two-hour parking limit," said Blake.

There is a parking kiosk installed on every block downtown. Signage has been in place and people are noticing and utilizing the QR codes and texting options. Those codes will lead you to the Flowbird USA app on your smartphone and allow you to pay to park from the palm of your hand.

"If you're having an issue with a kiosk, that Flowbird app is very easy to use," said city spokesperson Mark Armstrong.

Enforcement will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding holidays. It will cost you $1 an hour or $0.25 every fifteen minutes to park. Street parking will have a maximum time limit of two hours. Violation tickets will start at $10.

If you are going to park longer than two hours during the enforcement period, the city suggests using a parking garage or a surface parking lot. People can also park for free under the interstates on the perimeter of downtown.

"It's very important for the downtown economy that street parking is readily available as much as possible," said Armstrong.

The city says that enforcement will ensure visitors have a convenient place to park when visiting downtown establishments during business hours.

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