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D.C. Made Big Bucks From Parking Tickets in 2012

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(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The pink paper parking tickets that pop up on windshields of cars in D.C. were a major cash cow for the city last year.

The District made about $92 million from more than 1.8 million parking tickets issued in 2012, according to data from AAA Mid-Atlantic. Although about 200,000 more tickets were issued in 2011, more people who received tickets actually paid them in 2012, leading to the higher total.

D.C. meter maids wrote more than seven parking tickets per minute and almost 500 tickets per hour in 2012, said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend.

Townsend said the District made key changes in 2010 so it could make more money off parking.

“They’ve increased fees on almost 90 percent of parking meters, they’ve stepped up the hours in which you have to pay for, and they’ve increased enforcement in the city,” Townsend said.

Townsend added that the parking issue in D.C. is a simple math problem — there’s 17,000 parking spaces in the District but some 200,000 people come into the city on average each day.

People can try to beat the ticket is in court, but Townsend said only one in 10 tickets are contested. He added that when people do fight the ticket, their odds of winning in court are 50-50.

“You can fight City Hall. You don’t have to accept the status quo,” Townsend said.

District government right now is working on plans like Sustainable D.C. that would reduce the number of parking spaces around town and restrict who can access them, which likely will lead to an increase in revenue for the city and frustration for drivers.

WNEW’s George Mesthos contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

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