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City: Car barnacles will be for frequent parking violators, not for those who are ’15 minutes over’

A diagram of how a car barnacle is implemented and can be removed. The City of Cheyenne began the use of barnacles in parking enforcement earlier this month. (Courtesy of City of Cheyenne)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — With the City of Cheyenne beginning its use of the car barnacle for parking enforcement at the start of this month, the city says that the device will not be used for one-time offenders, but rather routine violators with overdue parking tickets.

Since the city announced in January that parking enforcement officers would be using the item following the end of the city’s one-month amnesty period in February for parking ticket late fees, there’s been some confusion among the public of what the barnacle is and how it will be implemented across Cheyenne, city public information officer Michael Skinner said to Cap City News on Wednesday.

The barnacle — a parking enforcement device that suctions to a car’s windshield and can’t be removed until a hefty fee is paid — is essentially an updated version of the car boot that, Skinner says, is more “efficient” than its predecessor. He also noted that barnacles, unlike car boots, can be removed by vehicle owners themselves.


Skinner admitted it’s not a fun process to be barnacled, but it at least makes the ordeal able to be resolved more timely for both vehicle owner and officer. Cheyenne Police Department public information officer Alexandra Farkas additionally remarked that parking officers have not yet used the barnacle on a vehicle as of Wednesday since its launch in the city March 1.

“Let’s just hypothetically say [someone] went 15 minutes over their allotted time,” Skinner said. “No, that’s not what the barnacle is going to be used for, if they go 15 minutes over their parking limit and have a clean record as it relates to parking. … This is more so for folks that have gotten a handful of parking tickets that haven’t been paid for and are now overdue and we see their vehicle parked somewhere in town.”

Skinner continued, saying, “If you don’t pay your water bill, your water is going to get shut off. If you don’t pay your electricity bill, your electricity is going to get cut off. This is kind of in line with that. There’s repercussions for having parking tickets, and the barnacle is a last resort to say, ‘Hey, there’s repercussions if you don’t pay this up.'”


City officials, including Mayor Patrick Collins, pooled around together for more efficient solutions to the growing amount of parking ticket debt in the city, which Collins noted in a prior statement had risen to over $200,000 in two years as Cheyenne’s “elephant in the room.” Per city resolution, those fees must be cleared off after four years, and the city wanted a more straightforward solution than just letting the dollars climb up.

The movement to implement the device was combined in tandem with the recent late fee amnesty period, Skinner said, to let the public “clear the slate” before cars could be barnacled. He said that the barnacle will be deployed at the same rate a car boot would, with the only difference being the type of technology used.

“It is a relatively new concept,” Skinner said. “For decades now, we’ve just thought of car boots and nothing more. With this being a new thing but [with] technology in the mix of it, [we’re] just trying to get as much information out there to educate people on how this process would work.”