Breakthrough Web Design - 515-897-1144 - Web sites for businesses
News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Founded October 1, 2010

Spending money downtown not enough to ward off parking tickets

This news story was published on April 24, 2012.
Advertise on NIT Subscribe to NIT

MASON CITY – Simply coming to downtown Mason City and spending money is not enough to ward off a parking ticket.

A young woman from Osage discovered that Tuesday afternoon.

“My friend and I shopped at the mall, had lunch at Lorados.  Here’s my ticket,” she said with a smile.

“I understand the ticket, but we weren’t gone that long, and we could have went anywhere,” she said.

Most of the downtown Mason City parking spots are two hours.

Several other vehicles had tickets Tuesday afternoon as well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

37 Responses to Spending money downtown not enough to ward off parking tickets

  1. anymouse Reply Report comment

    April 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

    A couple points–

    1. parking violations in Mason City are civil, not criminal, offenses.

    2. downtown Mason City is a ghost town, even compared to hotspots like Northwood. There is no reason whatsoever to have 2 hr. parking limits since there is little demand at all for parking spaces.

    A 24 hr. limit would do fine, just to keep people from permanently staking out their “private” parking space.

  2. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    April 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Mason City don’t have a downtown shopping district. Mason City’s shopping district starts at Pierce Ave. on the west side and ends out at the Indidianhead Development on the old Highway 18.

    There is no need for parking enforcement of any kind in old town. The extra spots the taxpayers paid for in the alley for the Frank Lyoyd Wright update should not be so designated either.

    It would be nice to think that the parking spots were bringing in that kind of revenue to Mason City but make no mistake, they don’t.

    Writing parking tickets in Mason City is not even necessary.

  3. Mike Hahn Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Matt… because NIT is covering this, it must mean that downtown MC has a parking problem. Isn’t that GREAT!!! If you look at the most vibrant and successful downtown districts in the world, most have parking issues. Being blessed with such open expanses of land, Midwesterners think of parking as being a God giving right. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work in managing parking in downtown districts, which were built with pedestrians, horses, and street cars in mind. Most Midwesterners prefer parking where the front door of the business is in sight. Like in front of a discount store or shopping mall even though they may have to walk the equivalent of a city block, or two, or three to get to that front door. Because of the built density of downtown, the rotation of parking stalls is very important. In 2010, the International Downtown Association, estimated that the average parking stall on a core street in a city with a population under 50K, generates around $186K in annual sales. While the outlying side street estimates are around $62K annually per stall. So the closer to the core, the more important the rotation is for parking. In some communities, you will see that reflected with 90 minutes or two hour enforced limits in the core with extended limits (sometime four hours or more) two or three blocks away on side streets. I’m sorry to see this “out of towner” get a ticket, but maybe a good follow-up story NIT can do is a map showing the various parking areas in downtown MC with their designated enforced parking limits. Food for thought, thanks!

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Good suggestion Mike. Education is always beneficial. I think people just like parking on the north side of the mall, personally. I will see if there are parking lot maps available somewhere.

    • Watcher Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

      @ Mike – Great post, nailed the facts on the head.

  4. anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Yeah, what she said! Makes sense, NOT…

  5. Watcher Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Downtown used to have parking meters throughout, the first parking meters were installed in the community in 1946. The city determined it was better for the commercial retail development to move away from them, I believe that was in the 80’s.

    So basically now people no longer need to have change on them or pay anything to park less than 2 hours. With that 2 hours of FREE parking come the agreement that you will NOT park in such marked spot more then 2 hours.

    This article proves you will never make everyone happy, most of all those that think they are above the rules and laws “because they have money”. This is the very attitude which is corrupting our economy and government.

  6. Tabitha Wells Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Maybe Smoochbuyer can tif us some new parking meters! lol!

  7. Be on the look out!! Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    She got a parking ticket. A parking ticket, for shopping and having lunch…granted she went over the two hr limit, granted she is smiling, granted she is a cutie…the point of the story is…she got a ticket, for going over the time limit, She even said she understands the ticket, She isn’t fighting it, she isn’t complaining, she’s just saying…I got a ticket…Nothing more Nothing less. Some people laugh at things that don’t really matter…Others judge. Keep smiling…It’s a good look on you!!!

  8. jBN Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm


    • duh Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2012 at 7:23 am

      high tech method. they mark the tire with chalk and note the time THEN they come back after 2 hours and if the vehicle is still in the same spot with the same mark in the same spot on the tire…they get a ticket. now please stop shouting.

  9. winger8283 Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    maybe when they were doing all of that renovating and they were looking for a revenue maker, they should have just installed parking meters~

  10. Publius Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Cops need to stop writing these chickens#it tickets. The reason this girl is smiling is because she sees the humor that her wallet was raped by a police force sworn to SERVE and PROTECT. Instead she was served a ticket and the city added to its coffers. Cops should ask themselves the serious question of whether or not they signed up to eff with the citizens who they work for. If I were a cop, I would be embarrassed to be seen writing an effing parking ticket. I would work to clean up this decaying city, but then again I wasn’t bullied in high school.

    • wow Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2012 at 7:16 am

      her wallet was not “raped”. She consented to a 2 hour limit by parking in a marked city space. It is a minor offense with a modest and avoidable fine. It would seem law enforcement in this town is damned if they do and damned if they don’t do their job. Now calm down and shop local.

  11. Worried Uncle Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    OMG my niece could become a Parking Felon at this rate or become rich by writing a Parking for Dummies in Mason Cty book! I’d buy at least 2 should she pen the story.

  12. Mason City Native Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I happened to have spent a lovely afternoon with that law-breaking AWFUL “I broke the law and proud of it” citizen from Mitchell County. After I spent over $100 at businesses in the Southbridge Mall, I met that deviant for lunch. I live in Wisconsin but we are both Mason City natives, and all my life I have always been able to spend time at the mall without worry of a 2-hour parking limit. I parked in the old movie theater parking lot (which was half empty all day and has NO visible parking limit signs), and, to my surprise, I also had a parking ticket! Who would have known, I am ALSO an irresponsible Nintendo-obsessesed irresponsible adult. My gosh. THANK YOU Mason City for making me aware of this. I will now avoid shopping in Mason City so that I may hide my shame and avoid future parking tickets.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      I’m sorry you have to read all the idiots that think you are awful people because you didn’t see the parking limits sign. They ride around on their high horse like they have never made a simple mistake. Parking ticket or murder they say a law is a law and compare you to criminal mugshots. Most of us think you are good people and hope you will come back but I wouldn’t blame you for staying away from all these perfect bloggers we have in this town.

  13. Watcher Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    She has that North Iowa Mugshots “I broke the law and proud of it” grin… She would fit right in with the rest of them. Yep the maturity and lack of responsibility of people today never stops amazing me.

    • Carla Olsen Reply Report comment

      April 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Doesn’t seem like a “crime” Mr. Watcher. I’m happy she came to River City to spend some cash here. We need it. Please come back!! 🙂 🙂

      • Watcher Reply Report comment

        April 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        Wow… How ignorant can people be. If the sign says 2 hour parking it is a law. If you stay parked in such space for more then 2 hours then you are breaking the law.

        It doesn’t surprise me I have to explain that simple fact.

        I agree, come back again… Next time follow the instructions on the sign, or if you wish donate again to the local LE.

    • Mason City Native Reply Report comment

      April 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm


      • Phyllis Mandlebaum Reply Report comment

        April 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        Watcher is always trolling NIT. He attacks everyone, even Matt the publisher. Just ignore him, he is sleeping in his coffin during the day and only comes out at night.

      • Watcher Reply Report comment

        April 25, 2012 at 8:12 am

        @Phy – “Watcher is always trolling NIT.”

        “Troll – wiki – In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted”.”

        I am far from a troll on this site compared to many others, some of which use their real name. How many threads has Vicor and noisy tailpipes been brought up in that had nothing to do with the article.

        “He attacks everyone, even Matt the publisher.”

        Not true I have complimented Matt, Peter, 50, and a few others many times… Just because I don’t see the world through NITs Negative Tint Glasses doesn’t mean I am attacking. I use the same name with every post I make (which I have never seen yours before). I try to share the undisclosed, unknown, and often overlooked… I never resort to below the belt, name calling and slanderous remarks like many on here. If you want to be closed minded like the people this site is speaking up about, then sure, ignore me and you will just be in your own “it is my way and you better not argue with me or I will call you names world”.

        “Just ignore him, he is sleeping in his coffin during the day and only comes out at night.”

        90% of my posts are between 7 AM to 6 PM Mon through Friday; this site is not worth my weekends.

        But then, you would be the troll in this case, I had stayed on topic until I had to correct your inaccuracies in your “off topic” post.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      What look did you want her to give? Mad face, cry baby face or the I’m better then you face that you walk around with!

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Watcher is real mature comparing her to mugshots! And know we know you are a mind reader as to what she was thinking in this picture. While you do make some excellent points sometimes people only remember what an ass you sound like with your remarks about something as simple as a parking ticket.

  14. Echo Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    If she wanted to park for free all she had to do was park in the mall parking lot that lot is always free, and it should be fpr what it cost the tax-payers in snow removal cost. But we need to enforce the two hour parking limit downtown or otherwise you would have people leaving their cars there all day.

  15. You're kidding, right? Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    It’s a win/win situation for NIT. City enforces the parking ordinances and they get a negative story about Mason City and if they don’t do it NIT can do a story on how city employees are lazy and don’t do their jobs.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      April 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Talk about a “nayser.” The story is an interesting discussion point. NIT is about North Iowans and their daily lives. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that any topic can be written about from any angle; you didn’t break any new ground here. We just reported the facts.
      If you want my opinion, “Kidding,” I would say Mason City is not “user friendly.” The City should do everything possible to welcome visitors here, especially shoppers. Forget the ticket writing in the cultural crescent unless they unlawfully take a handicapped spot.

      • Reggie Reply Report comment

        April 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        Matt its spelled “NAYSAYER” but I call “you’re kidding right” just a critic getting involved.

  16. confused Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    The loonies are in charge. Wouldn’t you look at the license plate to see what county the car was registered in? If it was from Mitchell County maybe cut them some slack. Oh no, lets rub salt in the wound. STUPID!

  17. Watchers Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Ahhh now for all the “responsible” people to whine about not wanting to take responsibility for their own actions.

    Parking laws are in place to help protect the potential customers from people who work in the downtown. It helps to keep employees from taking the spots from potential customers (which never happens).

    The complainers are probably the same people I see parking in a handicap zone because “they only had to run in for a minute”.

    Simple – break the law… get a ticket… but I forgot, parents are not teaching responsibility anymore. They expect the television, game systems, teachers and government to do it for them.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      There is an idiot in every crowd.

      Watchers is one of them.

  18. Sad Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    You cant just come ove here and spend your money like that. We love ya, but its about government $$$$. Sorry, dig a little deaper.
    Yes, shop out of town by all means.

  19. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    This why I do not shop downtown. First of all their is no parking places (not because of shopper) owners of business are running out and moving cars or rubbing off the yellow mark. If you did a survey I would guess most tickets are from owners or workers at their place of business. Why would I want to worry about a 15.00 dollar ticket when I can go out west shop, eat and not have to worry about a ticket. I know students that go to La James are always leaving school to move their cars.

  20. foxy50 Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Maybe this is what they want to do to bring people in so they can support police department!

  21. koohnquist Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    i think punishing out of towners for spending $$$$$ here is a great idea, keep MC down! yeaaaa!!

  22. amanda Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    as a person who lives in Mason City (yea i know) do yourself a favor. go spend your money in Clear Lake, at least you don’t get the hassle like you do from the so called leaders that want to bring in shoppers