Galveston police ticketing beach-goers who don't pay for parking along seawall

A Galveston police officer drives along the seawall looking for violators of the new parking rules on the island
September 2, 2013 4:51:37 AM PDT
Paid parking along most of the Galveston seawall started last month, but police have been giving warnings, not tickets -- until now. This Labor Day weekend, those who don't follow the new rules are being fined.

This is the first holiday weekend for which seawall paid parking is in firm enforcement.

"We drive down the seawall. The license plate scanner will scan the license plate and let us know whether or not that person has paid," Galveston Police Department Ofc. Sean Migues said.

We rode along with Galveston police Sunday as they showed off the technology they have. Officers can use these scanners in their cars and on foot, and it's also helpful to police because it can alert them to stolen cars, or even vehicles identified as part of an Amber Alert.

Paid parking started earlier this summer. There was a grace period, and they've been easing into it. Now, they are in full enforcement. Police say they are doing their best to work with families and say most people are adjusting to the change.

"It's gone really well. The pay-by-phone system is a fairly new concept for the citizens of Galveston; however, it's used worldwide, and everybody is starting to become very accustomed to it," Migues said. "We've had a very successful compliance rate with the parking fees."

Beach-goers can pay by phone app or in cash. No sticker or receipt is needed.

A violation will get you a $17 ticket, so it is cheaper to follow the new rules and pay for parking. An hour of parking runs $1, and to park for the entire day is $8.

Seawall Paid Parking:

  • Fee: $1/hour, not to exceed $8/day or $25/year annual pass
  • Hours of Operation: 10am-6pm daily
  • Payment Options: Pay by phone, select seawall businesses

Paid parking areas will include the north and south sides of Seawall Boulevard from 6th to 69th Streets and 81st to 103rd Streets. The area between 69th and 81st Streets will be free of charge.

The revenue raised by this new program will go toward seawall improvement projects -- things like permanent restrooms, showers, lighting and landscaping in the years to come.

Find Christine on Facebook at ABC13ChristineDobbyn or on Twitter at @christinedobbyn

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