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A cyclist ride on the controversial new two-way bike lane on Baronne Street Friday, October 26, 2018. Dozens of bicyclists demanded better-designed bike lanes, like the lane seen here with parked cars protecting the bike lane, and stronger laws at a New Orleans City Council meeting Thursday.

New Orleans motorists parking in bike lanes could find themselves with $300 tickets, over seven times the amount they were previously.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office sent out a press release Monday reminding residents of the increased fine — to $300 from $40 — that will start being enforced this month.

The City Council unanimously approved the fine increase in March. If those who receive a ticket do not pay it within 30 days, the fine will increase to $500.

The increase comes in response to complaints from cyclists about vehicles — often taxis and ride-hailing service vehicles — parking in bike lanes and forcing bicycles to drive into the street around them.

“We have been consistent in making public safety a top priority of this administration, and residents need to know that the stakes of improper parking in lanes for bicyclists are going to start getting higher this month,” Office of Transportation Director Laura Bryan said.

The reminder follows the city’s launch of Moving New Orleans Bikes, an effort to rapidly expand the city’s bike lanes, improve lane connectivity and increase protections for cyclists traveling on them. The plan is still in its beginning stages, gathering community feedback.

Open-house meetings where residents can discuss the transportation plan began last week and will continue this week from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

District C will meet Monday at the Algiers Regional Library; District D on Tuesday at AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana and District E Wednesday at the Martin Luther King Library and Thursday at the East New Orleans Regional Library.