City considers penalties for parking in electric vehicle spots

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, Austin City Council could pass a resolution that looks into a way to stop gas-powered cars from taking electric vehicle parking spots on public property.

Council Member Chris Riley’s Office said it has received several complaints over the years about “normal” cars parking in the designated spots. City Council could approve a resolution that lets the city review options and talk with the Urban Transportation Commission on how to curb the problem on public property.

Riley’s Chief of Staff, Lewis Leff, said they want to get ahead before electric cars become the norm and have an ordinance in place.

Council Member Chris Riley’s office says electric car drivers go to a website which shows all the stations across town, with availability, and find a regular vehicle in the space.

The city doesn’t have numbers of how many people disobey the signs because Austin Police there’s no law that allows Austin Police or traffic enforcement to issue tickets.

“It pisses me off when I see people parked illegally in handicapped spots, and it’s certainly not a good idea for people to use electric vehicles,” Ric Sternberg, an Austin resident who drives a normal car, said. “Only because the whole purpose of that spot is to encourage people to use electric vehicles.”

There are 185 electric stations at 72 locations in Austin.

When it comes to electric spots at Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and other private properties, the city said managing the electric vehicle parking spots is up to them.

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