ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Downtown confusion has Albuquerque police dismissing dozens of downtown parking tickets.
They say it's because a few officers didn't get the memo when it comes to weekend parking.
“Its totally inconsistent. Sometimes they issue tickets, sometimes they don't,” said Salvatore Guanci said, the recipient of a parking ticket. “I’ve parked there several times; never a ticket. Then, all of sudden, last Friday, boom! They hit everybody.”
There seems to be some confusion in downtown Albuquerque; namely, along Central Avenue between Third and Fifth streets.
It all centers around some signs that say “No parking on Friday and Saturday between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m."
“The intent was to keep the area clear of parked vehicles to better assist police officers and make a safer environment for people down there,” Albuquerque Police Department Commander Jeremy McRae said.
They've been up for several years, but then last year, McRae says people started complaining, saying they couldn't enjoy a night out without having to worry about parking.
So, McRae and his downtown team made a change.
“At the time, the quickest way was to issue directives to not cite parked vehicles in that area, pertaining to those signs until 10 p.m., when police activity began,” McRae said.
But, the signs stayed put.
Last Friday McRae says a few newer officers began writing tickets around 7 p.m.
“Sometimes, there are miscommunications,” McRae acknowledged.
It caused one restaurant some trouble with guests.
“A lot of them kept looking outside, going back and forth, and I was concerned that they were going to leave the restaurant,” said Jeffery Kongphouthakhoun with the Asian Noodle Bar.
KRQE News 13 heard upwards of 30 tickets were issued that night. McRae couldn't confirm that, but he did say the Friday, Aug. 9 tickets have all been dismissed.
McRae says they're going to look at changing the signs to say 10 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.
“I apologize to anyone that has been adversely affected by it,” McRae said. “Again, the intent of the signs is to assist the situation down there, not make things difficult.”
Once 10 p.m. rolls around and the barricades go up at Central, that's when you could be ticketed.
APD says two businesses along Central had complained about the tickets. That's when the decision was made to drop them.
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