It’s about to cost you more if you get a parking ticket in downtown Lakeland.

Beginning Aug. 1, a parking citation will increase to $25, up from from $15 for all parking offenses. Habitual offenders can receive up to three violations per day instead of two.

Violators that park in a disabled parking space without the proper permit in the form of a marked vehicle tag or placard will see their fine increase from $100 to $250 for each infraction. Also, effective Aug. 1, additional time to pay parking citations will be increased from 10 days to 21 days.

The Lakeland City Commission recently made the decision to increase the fine for parking infractions after hearing a report from staff.

“We are experiencing a high demand for parking in downtown Lakeland because the increase in businesses in the area and the addition of new residential projects,” said Angelo Rao, manager of Traffic Operations. “These factors, along with our event and visitor traffic, put parking at a premium.”

There are 547 on-street parking spaces in downtown Lakeland,  764 parking lot spaces, and 1,542 city-owned parking garage spaces available to the general public.

“With these parking spaces shared more frequently, there will be additional opportunities for customers to enjoy their downtown shopping/dining experiences,” said Julie Townsend, executive director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.

As a way to get the word out, parking service attendants have notified current violators with and added notation when issuing a parking citation: “Please note for future reference, effective August 1, 2017, parking violations will increase to $25 and disabled parking infractions will be increased to $250.”

Street parking in downtown Lakeland is free for two hours, unless otherwise noted on the space. Some street parking spaces have 15-minute loading/unloading limits.

(Image via)