Dubuque changes ordinance to free up on-street parking from cars not running properly

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The City Council unanimously approved changes to a street storage ordinance, focusing on cars that are not running properly or are unregistered.

If a car is parked along the street, and it has an issue like a flat tire, the change to the ordinance now clarifies it cannot just sit out in the street and not move.

The change, as discussed in the most recent city council meeting, was meant to make more definitive regulations on what cars can and cannot be parked on the side of the road- making things easier for police to enforce.

Lt. Joe Messerich with the Dubuque Police Department said in 2017, it received 1,882 complaints on cars that violate the ordinance. This year alone, it has already received 1,823.

Lt. Messerich said this change will make things easier, especially going into the colder months.

"Not everywhere in the city has off-street parking, so those on-street parking spaces on city streets can kind of become a coveted item," Lt. Messerich said. "When you have people storing vehicles that can't even run on the streets, it creates friction in the neighborhood, it makes it hard for us to clean the streets, and it really makes it hard for snow removal."

Vehicles will first be marked with an orange sticker. If it has not been moved after 24 hours, the tickets for not moving a marked vehicle are $15. If the car still is not moved after it has been ticketed, the car can get towed. That's when Lt. Messerich said the cost can become pricey for car owners.