How parking enforcement and ticketing work in Bismarck

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 9:04 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Parking in downtown Bismarck has its benefits, however, if you do not pay attention to the 90-minute parking signs, you may receive a ticket on your windshield. But what is the money used for and how much does the city generate from parking tickets?

Bismarck Parking Enforcement is seen driving up the streets in downtown Bismarck looking for vehicles that have overparked or roaming around the city handling parking complaints.

“Nobody wants a ticket, but, you know, if they are sitting there somewhere where they are not supposed to be too long, then I guess they deserve one. But they are doing their job,” said Jesse Wilson, Bismarck.

There are two parking enforcement officers that currently patrol not only downtown Bismarck but all over the city. A parking officer might write 20 to 40 tickets a day throughout the city, but downtown they average about 20 a day. When you think about it, that’s a lot to write daily. The city receives about $150,000 each year in ticket revenue. All of this money goes into the general fund.

“The general fund is where any revenue from the city goes into that, at least from the police department. It goes into that general fund and they use that for whatever,” said Lt. Jeff Solemsaas, traffic commander with Bismarck Police.

Many residents in Bismarck have ideas of where that money should be put towards.

“Potholes! The potholes here and I understand that it’s winter and they have to salt the roads and dirt the roads, and those also cause the erosion in the roads, which creates more potholes,” said Wilson.

Downtown there are signs that say 90-minute parking. You may see people running to move their cars. The parking officers say that they try to give people an extra ten minutes, but after that their car will be ticketed.

“They are still fairly low from what I see. Nationwide, parking tickets are a little bit higher than they are here. Most of our citations are in that five-to-ten-dollar range, some are fifteen. The time zones can obviously go up a little bit more,” said Solemsaas.

90 minutes is the limit. Some residents would like to see a change to the time restriction.

“It depends on when it is. When we have the festivals out here, of course, I think it should increase because it gives us family time, so they don’t have to worry about running back to the meter or going and re-parking somewhere else,” said Wilson.

If you have five citations and have not paid your fines, then the parking enforcement can have a judge issue a tow order and your vehicle will be placed in impound.

The Bismarck Parking Enforcement enforces the 90-minute parking downtown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.