Bricktown giving boots the boot

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Giving the boot to boots. Leaders in Oklahoma City are considering a new ordinance to prohibit private parking lot owners from immobilizing cars using those yellow parking boots.

The change would apply city wide, but mostly targets downtown and Bricktown.

The private parking lot boots have led to several complaints to the police department.

“We have had a number of complaints,” Jeannette Smith said, with the Bricktown Association.

Most of the complaints surround unmanned lots with only a box for payment.

Those lot owners have taken to slapping yellow boots onto cars parked illegally.

Something Bricktown leaders want it to stop.

“There’s a negative perception of parking in Bricktown and to have booting only makes it worse,” Smith said.

“No boots I think is a step in the right direction,” DJ Saad said.

Saad runs a bar adjacent to one unmanned lot.

He sees a lot of frustrated car owners getting the boot.

“Most of the time I feel bad for them. I don’t know what direction to send them,” Saad said.

To cut down on fights between angry lot owners and those being booted, police chief Bill Citty also told the council he too supports the prohibition.

“Of course the police department prefers to prohibit it.  If we don’t, we’ll still have to deal with civil issues and complaints,” Citty said.

“It’s very frustrating when people come downtown and park in our parking lot,” Councilman David Greenwell said.

As a private parking lot owner himself, councilman Greenwell sympathizes with private lot owners but said the city isn’t taking away all their enforcement options.

Owners can still have violators ticketed or towed.

The council approved the introduction of the ban last week.

Two weeks from now they should make it official.

The city has only limited control to dictate what private property owners can do but because this can become a safety issue, city staff believes a ban would be legal.

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