Instead of parking tickets, more than 150 people parked illegally in Downtown Boise’s metered spaces Thursday received warnings, Hershey’s candy bars and pamphlets explaining how they can use smartphones to increase the amount of time on the meter, said Craig Croner, the city of Boise’s Administrative Services manager.
A combination of factors led to the decision to have an amnesty day, Croner said. First, it’s Christmas. Second, the city recently activated technology on its parking meters that allows people to pay for more time through the smartphone app Parkmobile.
“We know this is a busy time for people,” Croner said. “We hope you enjoy this little sweet treat instead of a parking ticket.”
The app is part of a broader city effort to encourage people to use garages for long-term parking, so that there’s more turnover in on-street spaces. The idea is to hand out fewer parking tickets, Croner said, not more.
Croner said the city had handed out more than 150 warning-information-candy packages in lieu of parking tickets by noon.
“I’ll bet you we have more than 200 before the day’s out,” he said.