Traffic Q&A: Yes, you can work off your parking tickets

Staff writerJanuary 13, 2014 

QUESTION: Is it possible to work off city of Tacoma parking tickets instead of paying cash? — Anonymous

ANSWER: Yes, indeed you can.

It’s a little-known fact, but you can work off any of the fines levied in Tacoma Municipal Court — not just for illegal parking but for other traffic offenses and even criminal offenses.

Michelle Petrich, the court administrator, says that as long as a judge gives the OK, there are two cashless alternatives.

The grimmer of the two entails serving a stint on a city of Tacoma community service work crew. It’s not a chain gang exactly, but you’ll put in eight-hour days doing work such as picking up trash or clearing brush. For the eight hours, you get $100 credit against fines and costs.

The other alternative is more free form. You can work for any of more than a dozen local social service organizations on a city-approved list, at a rate of $10 an hour.

Approved organizations include food banks, housing shelters and environmental groups.

You get to pick the one you want.

Rob Carson: 253-597-8693

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