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7/23/2013 11:10:00 AM
Downtown parking ordinance back under review
Williams hotel owner arrested after removing tickets from guests' cars, ordinance likely to go before city council in August
A sign on Route 66 warns drivers of the no overnight parking restriction. Ryan Williams/WGCN
A sign on Route 66 warns drivers of the no overnight parking restriction. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

In the past two years, Grand Canyon Hotel owner Amy Fredrickson said the city has issued 46 tickets on her block.

The hotel, at 145 W. Route 66, is located within the one-block downtown parking district where parking is prohibited every day from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.

On July 12, five of the hotel's guests who parked overnight on the 100 block of Route 66 received parking tickets.

"So my husband walked out and took their tickets so we can pay them, because we offer them free parking," Fredrickson said. "The response was the police came and arrested him, and not only arrested him, cuffed him."

In Fredrickson's opinion, enforcement of the overnight parking restrictions should not be limited to one block.

"This is not the only block that gets dirty," she said. "It needs to include all of Route 66."

The incident has brought attention to the city's parking ordinance, although city officials and the Williams Police Department both declined to comment on the arrest.

Because of a subtle language change from "on" in the former ordinance to "bounded by" in the current ordinance, the definition of the restricted parking area changed.

Ordinance 918, adopted in April 2011, stated "It shall be unlawful to park any vehicle on Railroad Avenue, Route 66, Grand Canyon Boulevard, and First Street between Route 66 and Grant Ave. between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am."

Ordinance 922, adopted in July 2011, contains the same daily 2 to 6 a.m. parking restriction, but defines the Downtown Parking District as, "That area consisting of the property contained within the boundary of the following streets, including all adjacent sidewalks to the City right of way line: Railroad Avenue, Route 66, Grand Canyon Boulevard, and First Street between Route 66 and Grant Street."

City Attorney Kellie Peterson summed up the language change by explaining, "It limits it instead of being the full length of those streets to just being that one block."

When the current ordinance went into effect, the city put up new signs that were easier to read. However, the signs went up in the larger area laid out by the outdated ordinance, rather than the one-block area described in the current ordinance.

Mayor John Moore said the current ordinance was meant to cover the same area as the former ordinance. When city officials found out about the language discrepancy between the two ordinances last week, city staff removed several parking signs that were outside of the current ordinance area along Route 66. As of July 19, six signs remained along both sides of Route 66 between First and Third streets.

Moore said the city adopted the no overnight parking ordinance for street sweeping and snow removal. With limited city staff working on striping, painting and pothole repairs around town, the street sweeper is currently not on a regular schedule. As of last week, City Manager Brandon Buchanan said the city had not run the street sweeper for a couple of weeks, but that it would return to running every couple of days once those summer jobs are finished.

Moore expects the parking issue to be on the city council agenda at the first meeting in August.

"It's a difficult situation," Moore said. "But it's not that difficult. At least we've got cars looking for parking."

Buchanan said downtown parking is a challenge all cities face.

"By the nature of a downtown area, parking is limited," Buchanan said. "It's a complicated issue that no matter what the city does, I don't think it's going to make everybody happy, it's just trying to come to that compromise that we try to make everybody at least a little bit happy on it."

Fredrickson called parking an ongoing issue for guests of her 27-room hotel, adding that she advises guests to park in the city lots near the Visitor Center to avoid violations. The incident with her husband had not been resolved as of press time.

Fredrickson said the city should change the ordinance to allow for street sweeping on each side of the road once a week, because the current parking situation is bad for the entire city.

"We have guests from all over the world who come to Williams, they have a great time, they love Williams, they're leaving the hotel, they said, 'That was awesome,' they walk out, they have a $98 ticket out there," she said. "What a nice way to send out our tourists."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013
Article comment by: Come on People

So basically if I get ticket and have no money to pay and my Father pays it are you going to arrest him too?! Maybe issue a warning to the offending car would be a better idea. So what if Mr. Fredrickson took the ticket off the car he had every intention of paying it. What is next A ticket for breathing on the wrong side of the street? " Oh excuse me sir did I see you breathing on this side of the street? Oh that is bad I am going to have to give you a 50.00 dollar ticket for that. You are only allowed to breath on this side of the street the same day the street sweeper works which is NEVER!"

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: xxx xx

Col Parker,

This is nothing to do with tow trucks it has to do with parking tickets. Thankfully the city is not towing offenders even though I think they should tow vehicles parked on the streets during snow removal.

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: Well OK. I'll try again x

So I attempted to post a comment and it never made it and I'm sure the reason why is because I NAMED A NAME!

So I'll try again. Even the court will not uphold these tickets. I have taken three tickets to court, one, they dropped without even having to go before the judge the other two were dropped after I presented evidence that the signs were not up to national standards and sorry but if you cannot see the sign from the parking space because there is only ONE sign on the block and it is turned so you cannot see it from 4 spaces down, it's hard to really justify a ticket.

Sadly the enforcement of the tickets are based on phone calls to the Police Department. The last ticket I received was accompanied by a pretty pink paper explaining WHO called (it's always the same business owner) and who I could contact to complain.

Thank you sir for showing us how unwelcoming some of our neighbors can be. We depend on tourism, did you live here when we didn't have it? I did and it was a sad, depressed town with no economy, do you want that back? I don't.

Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Article comment by: street sweeper

I laugh every time I see the street sweeper in action. It leaves more debris than what was there before.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Harriet Lockwood

Parking on old 66 during the summer months should be allowed but when it is snowing I can understand that the cars should be moved of railroad Ave and old 66. As far as a ticket it should have been a warning. I guess the city and the police department need money. If they need money why don't they take the sigh down along the i-40. I bet that cost alot of money.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Really Williams?

Wow. When a small town attracts the attention of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce, perhaps it is time to look at all "leaders" involved. What a shame.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Ron Hart

Having just read of the parking situation in Williams and the fining of Route 66 visitors, I feel the need to comment on this situation. It goes without saying that the Mother Road has become an international attraction for tourists, and the action taken in this matter has already been reported around the world. While most Route 66 communities are recognizing the economic benefits resulting from these travelers, the Williams situation stands out as an exception that could cost you dearly. Telling tourists to "Beware" of certain adverse conditions in a Route 66 community is something that the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce does not want to do. I implore your leaders to reconsider the parking situation in your town for both locals and visitors alike, and take immediate action to mediate the damage that is ongoing as soon as possible. Ron Hart-Director, Route 66 Chamber of Commerce, Carthage, MO.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: johnny aguilar

Really a joke, go take a ticket off a car in any city and you will end up in jail. If he was really going to pay the ticket he should have told the guest to bring any ticket to him and then he would take care of it.How about the business owners and their employees not parking in front of their business that should free up a lot of parking. You buy a hotel knowing there isn't enough parking, that's the real joke.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Col Parker

Seems like a great way to kick back to the tow truck company bandits while at the same time getting tourists mad at Williams. I went through town many times with my boy and gang and never had any problems there, but did notice the local cops were prone to write tickets for doing 26 in a 25 zone. And to focus on out of state cars.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: resident williams

While I agree that the parking rules need to be modified, this is NO excuse for removing tickets off of a windshield! One cannot simply take the laws into your own hands! There was a good reason the law was put into effect in the first place. One cannot boldly take matters into your own hands!

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Paul Sanchez

That is so wrong to ticket the people who are visiting this beautiful town spending alot of money .This place is starting to act more like a big city,remember tourist are who keep this town afloat..!

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: once again

This shows how much of a JOKE Williams has becme with the current mayor, and city manager. Why did the police arrest this man? Anyone can pay someone else's ticket. Time for Williams to clean house, new mayor, new city manager, & new chief of the mod squad.

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