A year ago, it was 100 cars being towed from a private downtown lot where First Friday participants insisted there were no visible signs prohibiting parking.
Then, earlier this month, local artists complained they could no longer afford to exhibit at the monthly arts event after a change in regulations would have forced them to pay off-duty police officers $66 per hour, per officer.
Now, again, it's parking tickets.
Following up on a complaint by a longtime event organizer, a Review-Journal public information request shows 16 tickets - 11 for expired meters and five for vehicles without registration displayed - issued during First Friday hours on May 4 in the area bounded by Charleston Boulevard, Main Street, Clark Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Although that's a relatively small number compared against the thousands who attend each First Friday, it's much higher than the number of tickets issued during the event in the same area from January through April.
Brandy Stanley, the city's chief of meter maids, argues there was no intent to increase Arts District area enforcement during First Friday. Parking meter enforcement has generally been suspended during First Friday events.
On Monday, Ms. Stanley blamed the flare-up on a single officer who didn't understand the accepted boundaries of the First Friday area. "We need to be consistent whatever we are going to do," Ms. Stanley said, adding that it would probably be best if during First Friday events enforcement focused on safety, such as blocked fire hydrants or emergency lanes.
That seems like a sensible guideline. Maintaining access for fire and other emergency vehicles should remain a priority.
But trying to garner a few hundred dollars in parking fines? Or expecting participants to race back to their cars and shuffle them around to satisfy time limits which were originally set to prohibit all-day parking in front of a downtown business? That needs to stop.