Private firm cites parking violators downtown

While I was at Medford Municipal Court getting a ticket cleared, I figured I'd better make sure I didn't have any parking tickets, too. When I asked the clerk to check, she said I didn't have any issued by the Medford Police Department but added I should check with the Medford Downtown Parking Enforcement department.

Now I'm curious. Does the city's police department ever issue parking tickets? And, if so, why is there a separate municipal parking enforcement department?

— Mildred G., Medford

First things first, Mildred. Medford police can and do issue parking tickets. And they are heard through municipal court, according to Deputy Chief Tim Doney.

However, the city of Medford also has contracted with a private company, Diamond Parking, to enforce parking regulations downtown. If you have seen folks writing parking citations in the downtown area, it was probably one of the contracted employees, he said.

The private contractor employees also maintain the machines, assist customers with general parking information and staff an office in downtown Medford within the district for the convenience of downtown parkers, parking enforcement and sales of parking permits, said Lynette O'Neal, assistant to the deputy city manager.

"Last fiscal year, we collected $144,665 in parking violations," O'Neal said. "We also collected $162,161 in revenue from the machines, and $169,870 in revenue from permits."

All of these services are paid for through the Parking Fund, an enterprise fund that does not receive tax dollars. All money to operate the parking enforcement area comes from permits, parking machines and citations, and the parking fund must be self-sufficient, she said.

Medford police issue parking tickets outside the business district, and generally in more egregious situations, Doney said. For instance, if someone parked in the middle of the street and was blocking traffic or had parked in front of someone's driveway, he said.

If you are concerned about potentially unpaid parking tickets, Mildred, we can direct you to Diamond Parking. They are located at 301 Middleford Alley (by the Middleford Garage) and can be reached at 541-774-2082.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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