Comprehensive parking enforcement is important to the health, safety, and economic vitality of downtown Great Falls. A customer focused, conscientious ticketing force is the heart of an effective parking enforcement program. A well-designed enforcement effort enables the City to maximize use of existing parking resources.
Downtown streets and avenues serve many competing interests and they are one of the most sought-after resources the City controls. Primarily, the streets are designed for moving traffic, but shoppers, delivery vehicles, visitors, taxis, and buses all vie for on-street parking space. Parking enforcement plays a vital role in ensuring that the street is used in the best interests of the community. The primary objectives of enforcement are:
- support the on-street parking system by equitably and consistently enforcing the parking regulations
- encourage compliance with the City's parking regulations
- promote traffic and pedestrian safety
- maximize the capacity of the existing parking supply through increased turnover
- protect on-street access needed for commerce and public convenience
- enhance the quality of life in the residential zone by keeping the area free of downtown commuters and visitor parkers
Parking Within Marked Spaces at Meters on the Street
If you are parking parallel to the sidewalk at a metered location, your vehicle must be parked within the marked spaces for that meter. Failure to keep your vehicle within the markings may result in a ticket. If the meter space is not marked, the vehicle must be lined up correctly within the space and the bumper of the vehicle must not go beyond the meter itself. Improper parking is a $20 ticket.
Parking Meter Malfunctions
If a parker attempts to put money in a meter, and the meter will not accept the coins or register the proper time, he or she should contact the City of Great Falls Parking Division with a location and meter post number. If a parker thinks a meter has malfunctioned, and a citation was issued, he or she may make a request to have the meter checked. This notification must be prompt and can be accomplished by calling 727-7828. To ensure a proper meter check, the Parking Technician needs the following information: citation #, license plate #, date/time vehicle was parked, location (on citation), and coins used.
Meter malfunctions and other questions may be directed to:
Parking Garage Office
1st Avenue North & 4th Street North
Phone: (406) 454-2278
Planning and Community Development
Room 112, Civic Center (Main Lobby Floor)
Phone: (406) 455-8414
City of Great Falls Parking Division
P.O. Box 5021
Great Falls, MT 59403
Common Violations and Fines
|Failure to Pay, Expired Meter, Overtime Violations - first offense after Courtesy Ticket||$5.00|
|Failure to Pay, Expired Meter, Overtime Violations - second offense after Courtesy Ticket||$10.00|
|Failure to Pay, Expired Meter, Overtime Violations - third offense after Courtesy Ticket||$15.00|
|Failure to Pay, Expired Meter, Overtime Violations - fourth and subsequent offenses after Courtesy Ticket||$20.00|
A $10.00 Administrative Fee, per citation, is assessed for citation payments that are thirty days delinquent. Fees can be paid in the Civic Center at the Planning and Community Development Department (Room 112) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or at the Fiscal Services cashier window (Room 104) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
**To ensure "proper parallel parking" in the Meter District, drivers should use the meter pole as a guide. At a single head meter space, a properly parallel parked vehicle will have the front bumper 18 inches behind the meter pole. At a single head meter the front bumper should not go beyond the meter pole.
At a two-head meter stall, the rear bumper of the forward vehicle should be approximately two to three feet beyond the meter pole and the front bumper of the trailing vehicle should be approximately two to three feet behind the meter pole.
At a two-head angle meter stall, the left or right fender will be positioned beside the pole (approximately on to two feet to either side of the pole).
Vehicle Immobilization ("Booting")
The City's Parking Division maintains a computerized list of vehicles meeting the "booting" criteria. The criteria centers on the number of unpaid parking tickets received by the registered owner. More specifically, if the registered owner has five or more unpaid parking tickets and the tickets are 30 days or more overdue, the vehicle will appear on the list.
If a vehicle on the list is seen in the parking meter district, in any of the City's off-street facilities (lots or parking garages), or in the downtown residential zones, it will be reported to the Parking Division. The parking supervisor will verify the number of outstanding tickets and review the established "booting" checklist. Once confirmed, an officer with an immobilization device is sent to the location. The officer fills out a "warning" notice and sticks it on the driver's door window; the officer then attaches the "boot." The "warning" notice alerts the driver to the fact that the vehicle is immobilized and cannot be moved. The notice also contains instructions on how to arrange for the release of the vehicle.
Release of the vehicle can be obtained by paying all outstanding tickets plus the $150.00 immobilization fee. Fees can be paid in the Civic Center at the Planning and Community Development Department (Room 112) or at the Fiscal Services cashier window (Room 104) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If an owner does not make arrangements to have the immobilization device removed within 48 hours, the vehicle will be towed and impounded. All associated towing and impound costs are the responsibility of the registered owner.