Parking spaces are a scarce resource in parts of Crystal Lake. Available spaces must be managed through parking regulations in order to balance need with supply. City parking regulations promote public safety and traffic flow, and accommodate people with special needs by keeping intersections and bus stops clear, fire hydrants accessible to emergency vehicles and designated spaces open to persons with disabilities. Illegally parked vehicles can cause congestion by reducing visibility, which impedes pedestrian and traffic flow. Parking regulations are also a cost-effective way to ensure street parking capacity for residents, visitors, shoppers and employees. Parking regulations in the downtown district are generally intended to promote the turnover of spaces to ensure the most convenient parking is available to shorter-term customer parking, while designating longer-term parking primarily for business employees. But parking rules and regulations are effective only when they are properly enforced. Parking regulations are enforced by the Police Department 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-per-week. A handheld ticket-writer automates citation information, thereby reducing errors in data entry.