The system is broken - and we can fix it...

The city of Wilmington is in the process of becoming a truly awesome city - a place where entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and businesses create incredible things.

Since October of 2011, the citizens, business community, arts community, Wilmington City Officials, and others have been engaged in improving the parking and parking enforcement issues in the city of Wilmington.

Huge progress has been made and the direction we are going as a community is extremely positive!

This blog chronicles the efforts of all who helped make this happen...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wilmington posts Parking Tips

This is an excellent step forward - it's great to see the city of Wilmington and our community coming together to make these kinds of improvements to our system.

Here's the press release issued by the city of Wilmington today:

News Release
Tuesday, February 1, 2012

City Issues a Compilation of Parking Tips for Citizens

Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker and City Chief of Staff William S. Montgomery today released a list of parking tips so citizens will be better informed about Wilmington’s parking and ticketing laws. The list was compiled after City officials met with a citizens group two weeks ago led by social media expert Ken Grant. The group discussed ways to make the parking and ticketing process more transparent and to hold the City accountable for making sure the process is managed as efficiently as possible.

The list of parking tips, in addition to being distributed today as a news release, has also been posted on the City’s website, and will continue to be shared with citizens in the weeks and months ahead. Citizens who do not have access to the Internet may request a copy of the parking tips by calling the City’s Office of Constituent Services at 302.576.2489.

The City is in the process of producing a parking tips brochure that will be given to citizens by the City’s Parking Regulation Enforcement Officers (PREOs) and also distributed by Downtown Visions and the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation, two community and business-based organizations that have partnered with the City for years to make Wilmington a welcoming, friendly City that promotes the benefits of living, working or having fun in the City.

Wilmington will also include the brochure in water/sewer bills that are mailed in cycles throughout the year to citizens inside and outside the City’s boundaries.

“Sometimes you have to step back and re-assess what you are doing, why you are doing it, and ask what improvements can be made to a process,” said Montgomery. “This parking regulation review process is being conducted with assistance from Ken and those citizens he represents as well as Members of City Council and other City officials. It is proving to be good for City government and good for anyone who lives, works, visits and enjoys our City.”

Mayor Baker said today’s listing of parking tips is just the beginning of an effort to improve a process that is governed by City Code. “We have parking laws in place for reasons of public safety, ease of parking for those who patronize businesses or live in our neighborhoods and for flow of traffic, especially emergency vehicles and sanitation vehicles,” said the Mayor. “We also need to make sure that the process is fair and efficient, and we will continue to look for ways to communicate with citizens and make improvements to the process.”

City of Wilmington Parking Tips
Issued February 2012

The following list of parking tips is intended to be a helpful guide to understanding the most commonly encountered parking issues in the City of Wilmington. It is not intended to cover every possible scenario, nor is it meant as a substitute for City Code. To review parking regulations in their entirety, please where you can access the complete City Code. For those who do not have access to the Internet, please call the Office of Constituent Services at 302.576.2489. Email addresses listed below are NOT case sensitive, but are presented in this manner for clarification and style purposes only.

General Parking Tips

  • Always have coins available to purchase parking time from a parking meter.
  • Insert coins into the meter immediately after you park and exit your vehicle.
  • Meters accept nickels, dimes, and quarters. Parking rates are posted on each meter. You may purchase 15 minutes of parking for a quarter, 6 minutes of parking for a dime, and 3 minutes of parking for a nickel. You may park at a meter for up to two hours.
  • Upon parking, familiarize yourself with posted street signage regarding parking restrictions/limitations. Street signage governing parking rules on a block (such as street cleaning times) may appear anywhere on the block, and familiarizing yourself with signage requires looking up and down the entire block on the side where you’re parked, particularly if you don’t see any sign where you are parked. The City is required to post signs along a block so that citizens are informed about parking rules/restrictions. The City makes every effort to check frequently for signs that have been removed or have become damaged. If you park on the block and feel that signage may be missing or inadequate, please notify the Office of Constituent Services through or call 302.576.2489.
  • Do not park farther than 12 inches from the curb.
  • Once you park, make sure that all four wheels of your vehicle are touching the street surface. You will receive a parking ticket if a tire is sitting on the curb or sidewalk.
  • Parking is prohibited within 20 feet of a crosswalk or intersection.
  • Parking is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Parking is prohibited in bus stops or loading zones. Loading zones are reserved for commercial vehicles only.
  • Do not block driveways; you may be ticketed AND towed. Vehicles are prohibited from parking within 3 feet of either side of a driveway.
  • Do not park in a handicap space (designated by a blue meter) unless you have a valid, properly displayed handicap plate or placard. (more on this subject the “Handicapped Parking” section)
  • To pay a parking ticket on-line, please visit All major credit cards are accepted including American Express.
  • To pay a parking ticket in person, please visit the Customer Service Center on the 1st floor of the Redding City/County Building at 800 North French Street, Wilmington, 19801 between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cash, check, Master Card, Visa or Discover are accepted, but American Express is not accepted.
  • To pay a parking ticket by telephone, call 302.571.4320 and select option #4 between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. A City Customer Service representative will assist you with your payment. Only Master Card, Visa and Discover are accepted for phone payments.

Handicapped Parking

Blue parking meters designate parking spaces reserved for vehicles displaying a valid, properly displayed handicap plate or hanging placard. Handicap plates and placards are issued through the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and are not issued by the City.  For more information, visit or call the State Motor Vehicle Division branch that serves the Greater Wilmington area at 302.434.3200.
Drivers with disabilities who have a valid handicapped plate and placard may park in a handicap space (i.e. space with a blue meter) but must observe the same parking rules and procedures that apply to non-disabled drivers. Blue meters, like all other meters, accept nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Malfunctioning Parking Meters

If you encounter an inoperable or malfunctioning parking meter, immediately report the meter number (the number, usually three digits, can be found on the front face of the meter) to the City’s Office of Constituent Services at or call 302.576.2489.  All claims of a broken meter will be promptly investigated and verified; any citations issued in a parking space with a verified broken meter will be dismissed upon appeal.

Limited-Time Parking

If a citizen who does not have a valid residential sticker parks along a block where street signage indicates time-limited parking (for example, two-hour parking) and then moves their vehicle from that block, the vehicle may return in that block on either side of the street for the remainder of the original authorized two hour period.  

The original authorized time period begins to run when the vehicle’s license plate number is first recorded by a parking enforcement officer.  After the authorized period has expired, the vehicle must vacate the block and not return to any parking space on either side of the block for at least one hour, regardless of whether the vehicle moved from the block during the original authorized period. Vehicles returning to the same general area may still park around the corner from their original location or as near as the next up or down block to avoid receiving a ticket.

For example, a car which is parked in a 2 hour zone at 9 a.m., and which is recorded by a parking enforcement officer at 10 a.m., may remain parked on either side of the same block, or come and go as often as the vehicle owner chooses, until 12 Noon.  (The unrecorded time period from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. is not considered against the vehicle). At 12:01 p.m., the vehicle must vacate the block and may not return to either side of the block for at least one hour.

Residential Parking Stickers

City law requires that residents display a parking sticker in designated parking areas around the city. If you have a residential parking permit, you will be able to park in your designated area where limited time parking regulations apply. Residential parking stickers only exempt you from limited-time parking, not from any other parking regulations.

Residential parking stickers are free and are renewed annually. Sticker expiration dates are clearly posted on the bottom of the stickers.
ü  Residential parking stickers must be clearly displayed in the proper location on a vehicle which is either the right side of your rear bumper or in your vehicle’sright rear window.
ü  Any outstanding parking and/or red light violations must be paid before a residential parking permit will be issued.
For more information about obtaining or renewing a residential parking sticker, please contact the Division of Revenue at 302.571.4320 (select option #4 when you hear the recorded message) or call the Office of Constituent Services at 302.576.2489.
You may also visit where you can also download parking zone maps to see where the residential parking sticker law is in force.

Temporary Parking Pass

Temporary parking passes allowing vehicles without a residential parking sticker to park in an otherwise restricted area are issued in special cases, such as for visitors to your home and home health care providers. To obtain a temporary parking pass, which is valid for no more than 7 days, you may call 302.571.4320 (press #5 when you hear the recorded message) or email your request to at least 24-hours in advance of the need for the pass.
A temporary parking pass does not permit you to ignore other parking restrictions such as street cleaning, parking too close to a fire hydrant, blocking a driveway, etc.  It is only intended to allow you to park temporarily in a limited-time parking area.
ü  You will not be able to obtain a temporary parking pass if you or your guest has outstanding parking debts owed to the City.

Child Drop Off/Urban School Permits

Parents, volunteers, and administrators of schools and daycares within the City of Wilmington may request and obtain parking permits enabling the bearer to park in front of the establishment for a limited time (15 minutes or less) for the purpose of dropping off or picking up children. To obtain an urban school permit, email your request or call 302.576.2489.

Abandoned Vehicles

Vehicles that are parked on a City street in the same spot for more than seven days may be considered abandoned and are subject to ticketing and/or towing—even if you have a valid residential parking permit. If you plan to be on vacation past the 7-day limit, please request a temporary parking pass so that the City is aware that your vehicle has not been abandoned. Finally, if a vehicle is deemed to be abandoned and also presents any type of safety issue, the City may tow that vehicle immediately.
If you would like to report a vehicle as being abandoned, please call the Office of Constituent Services at 302.576.2489 or email

Street Cleaning

Street cleaning occurs each year between April 1 and October 31 according to the posted signage on City streets. Residents must move their vehicles for two hours from street cleaning zones as stated on posted street signage regardless of whether or not they have a residential parking permit. Street cleaning restrictions are not enforced between November 1 and March 31.
Street cleaning parking restrictions must be observed between April 1 and October 31 regardless of any issued parking permit; in other words, everyone must move their vehicles from street cleaning zones during the restricted times posted.


Once you accumulate $200 or more in fines (includes both parking and red light violations), your vehicle is subject to seizure/booting. The booting threshold ($200) applies to accumulated fees from all vehicles titled in your name, which includes vehicles either solely or jointly owned. Once you have been booted, you must pay your fines before the boot can be removed. You may call the toll-free telephone number listed on the back of the booting notice and arrange to pay your fine by credit card or make payment in-person Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. using cash, check or credit card at the Finance Department’s Customer Service Center on the 1st floor of the Redding City/County Building, 800 North French Street, Wilmington, 19801.

Penalties and Late Fees

If your ticket is not paid or appealed within 21 days, there is a $20 late fee applied to the original amount of the ticket. If you don’t pay within 45 days, an additional $20 penalty is added to the fine. If you don’t pay within 90 days, an additional $20 is added to the fine.

Appealing a Parking Ticket

  • If you receive a ticket that you believe is unwarranted, you must appeal the ticket within 21 days of the date the ticket was issued. Instructions are clearly listed on the back of the citation. There are no exceptions to the 21-day appeal deadline.  Once you appeal a parking ticket, your ticket will then be suspended and you will not incur any penalties while your appeal is being reviewed.
  • Citizens may provide other information, in addition to an appeal letter, such as pictures, documents, etc., in order to support their appeal.
  • The only address to which you can send a written appeal is: Public Safety Division, Attention Civil Appeals Director, 300 N. Walnut Street (2nd Floor), Wilmington, DE 19801.
Appeals are not accepted verbally, nor may you send in an appeal via email.
  • Every effort will be made by the Office of Civil Appeals to issue a response to your appeal within 30 days from the date your appeal letter is received. Some appeals take longer than 30 days to determine because they require an on-site inspection of the location where a ticket was issued or a review of materials received with an appeal letter.
  • If your appeal to the Office of Civil Appeals is rejected and your ticket is upheld, you may exercise your right to appeal the matter to the Justice of the Peace Court (JP Court) of the State of Delaware. Once you request a court date, you will be notified by the JP Court, not the City, as to when your court date has been set.

Appealing a Red Light Ticket

Citations for red light violations may be appealed within 21 days of the date that the ticket was issued. The red light ticket appeal process is administered by Wilmington Police Department and the City’s contractor, ACS Solutions, Inc. Instructions for red light camera appeals are listed on the back of your citation.

Red Light appeals are heard by the Justice of the Peace Court (JP Court) of the State of Delaware. For questions regarding your red light camera violation, you may contact ACS at 1.866.545.7441.

You will receive notification from the City within 30 days of the receipt of your appeal that your ticket has been suspended until the appeal is heard in JP Court.

If you receive a red light violation, you may review a color digital video and full color images of the violation for which you have received a citation by logging In order to view the video or images, you must enter your citation number and a PIN number which can be found on the citation that was mailed to the address to which your vehicle is registered.

Parking Enforcement Rules

  • Parking Regulation Enforcement Officers work Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. They do not enforce parking laws before or after those hours.
  • Late night and overnight parking enforcement is the responsibility of the Wilmington Police Department, although the WPD’s emphasis during these hours is on egregious violations of law including but not limited to parking at a fire hydrant, blocking intersections, etc.
  • Neither Parking Regulation Enforcement Officers nor the Wilmington Police Department enforce limited-time parking at meters on weekends and holidays. Citizens DO NOT have to deposit coins in meters on those days.
John Rago
Director of Communications and Policy Development
Office of Mayor James M. Baker

Rich Neumann
Assistant Communications Director

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1 comment:

  1. The training planned by the city needs to happen now. I had the displeasure of meeting Hester Scott, a Wilmington parking enforcement officer this morning on King Street in front of the courthouse. His unprofessional manner, arrogant nature and hostile attitude were offensive and unnecessarily confrontational. Perhaps he was auditioning for a role on A&E's Parking Wars, where his rude comments and authoritarian demeanor belong. His reputation is well known. Seems like he has not gotten the memo about new changes.