NEW ORLEANS -- A popular Bywater eatery and music venue says the city is wrongfully targeting customers who park across the street.
Bacchanal's is located at the corner of Chartres Street and Poland Avenue. Owners say in recent weeks patrons have seen a spike in parking violations.
Neighbors and businesses say something needs to be done about the parking woes.
"We've been open for 12 years. They use to come around about every six months or so. Lately they've been coming by a couple of times a week," owner Chris Rudge said about parking enforcement officers showing up outside Bacchanal's.
Patrons are being slapped with $40 tickets. It's gotten so bad, warnings are posted inside the business and on Facebook.
Rudge said no parking signs or clearly marked lanes exist where drivers are being fined.
"The best solution would be to move that line that doesn't exist over and allow a parking lane in front of the Navy base. That puts 20 or 30 cars that wouldn't be parking in front of houses around the neighborhood," Rudge said.
Visitors parking on the block aren't the only ones finding hefty fines on their windshields. One woman living in the neighborhood tells Eyewitness she's gotten three tickets in the last few weeks.
Finding a parking spot continues to be a challenge for residents.
"One of our neighbors was forced to park on the railroad track up here and was hit by the train and it did damage to her car," said Evan Magallanes.
The Bywater resident said parking is scarce because of the spillover of cars from Bacchanal's, and it's become a public safety concern, especially at night.
"Sometimes I work late and I come home late and I have no parking and I have to walk two blocks to my house," said Magallanes.
He's happy the business is part of the community, but said the city should create more parking at the old Navy base.
"What they need to do is get some sort of parking lot over there because that building is doing nothing. It's a small example of what's going on in the Bywater. It's neglected," said Magallanes.
A city official says other parts of New Orleans have also seen an increase in parking citations being issued. However, a city spokesperson tells Eyewitness News that is not the case.
The city also reminds the public that anyone who receives a parking citation has the option to contest the violation.