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Did you get a parking ticket in October? You may be in for a refund

The city’s Parkmobile meter paying app suffered a cell reception glitch in October.
The city’s Parkmobile meter paying app suffered a cell reception glitch in October. RBenton@sacbee.com

Sacramento officials say they accidentally issued an undetermined number of parking meter tickets during a 16-day period in October when the city’s mobile app cell service went down.

The city is asking people who got tickets from Oct. 10 to 26 while using the city’s Parkmobile app to contact the city to determine whether the citation was issued incorrectly.

City Parking Manager Matt Eierman said the city’s Parkmobile app, which allows electronic meter payments, lost partial cell service, disrupting some payment information from being registered. The city became aware, he said, when several parkers called to complain they had gotten $42.50 tickets even though they paid.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” Eierman said on Wednesday. He said the city is going through its database in an effort to find incorrectly issued citations and pre-emptively dismiss them.

But he said people who got tickets can contact the city online on at www.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/Parking-Services and click the citation services button, then the contest citation button. He said the city plans to conduct an expedited review of those challenges.

Eierman said this is the first time a major outage has occurred since the city began using the Parkmobile electronic payment option several years ago. Overall, the system has worked well, he said, but “technology is never perfect.”

He estimated that the glitch affected about 336 payments, but said it is uncertain how many of those people were issued citations.

Sacramento will install 20 blocks of "parking protected bike lanes" next year in an effort to protect bicyclists on central city streets.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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