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Downtown Tulsa parking is a mess, ticketed woman says

Posted at 9:04 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 22:09:10-04

Spring break was supposed to be fun for Machelle Beard and her boys.

March 19th was her birthday and she brought her twins to downtown Tulsa to a museum. Machelle wasn't expecting the frustration over parking.

“I paid from 10:18 to 12:18 and we were out by 12," she said.

The $2 charge didn't bother her. Machelle got the parking app suggested by the city on signs everywhere in downtown, registered her car and paid with a credit card.

"Got to my car, and at 11:35, I'd gotten a ticket and it was a $25 ticket,” she said.

What Machelle didn't realize was that she had confused a zero for the letter “o” on the app.

Sounds like an easy fix for a parking inspector but no such luck. They have to have the exact match on a tag.

Machelle doesn't want to pay the ticket and she's a teacher and doesn't have the time to go to court and dispute it.

“That's $25 I could spend on my special ed class,” she said.

Scott Williams has trouble reading all the directions at the same time checking addresses.

"Me and my wife are trying to park in this confusing place,” Williams said. “I got out of my car and started walking the direction I wanted to go, then I discovered I have to walk a block that way to pay so I have to double back. It's a mess."

The City of Tulsa has made some changes to parking in downtown. It has taken out most of the parallel parking and added these angled spaces where you have to back in. It creates more space for visitors and more money for the city.

The City of Tulsa wasn't able to provide us with someone to talk to about parking issues in downtown, but it did tell us it will be working on a system that makes disputes such as Machelle's easier to resolve over the phone. But until then, the city says read the signs closely and use the app.

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