City continues look at parking enforcement concerns
“In order for the parking program to be successful, emphasis must be placed on facilitating the payments of reasonable parking fees versus exploiting the trap of extracting fines." - City Council President Ceasar Mitchell
Editor's Note: The following is gathered from City of Atlanta news releases.
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell convened a meeting on Monday, November 5 at Atlanta City Hall to discuss the City’s parking enforcement program with representatives from PARKatlanta, a subsidiary of Duncan Solutions.
The meeting was a part of a coordinated effort to address continued challenges related to the parking program, and to respond to the lack of customer satisfaction with the program. Meeting attendees included representatives from the Mayor’s office, a representative from the Department of Public Works, Public Safety Committee Chairman Councilmember Michael Bond and Councilmember Kwanza Hall.
During the meeting attendees discussed a number of issues and areas of concern including: 1) operations and procedures, 2) enforcement equipment, 3) innovative measures to improve the customer experience and 4) customer education.
Mitchell expressed concern over the outdated equipment being used to collect fees during the meeting. He stated that the single space coin meters are difficult for customers to utilize, resulting in lower participation and greater non-compliance.
“In order for the parking program to be successful, emphasis must be placed on facilitating the payments of reasonable parking fees versus exploiting the trap of extracting fines," said Mitchell. “I firmly believe that we can improve the program and customer experience through equipment upgrades and leveraging technology.”
Some of the new and innovative payment methods include a payment by phone option, the creation of a monthly parking pass, the installation of more multi-space parking meters, and the use of credit /debit card enabled single space meters. Mitchell also encouraged greater customer transparency through the use of the PARKatlanta website.
Monday’s meeting is a part of a coordinated effort by council members to enhance the customer experience with parking within the city.
“I look forward to working with Council Members Michael Bond, Kwanza Hall, the administration and PARKatlanta as we roll out these enhancements to help address some of the challenges citizens currently have with the parking program in the City,” Mitchell said. “We will continue to meet to develop specific yet implementable measures to improve our city’s parking enforcement program.”
Councilmember H. Lamar Willis introduced legislation to amend the current contract with PARKatlanta during Monday’s full City Council session. The amendment is designed to revise and improve the operations of the city’s parking management program, improve processes and how Park Atlanta responses to customers.
Willis says, “I’ve met with residents and businesses throughout the city who have expressed their concerns about our current parking enforcement program. I shared these concerns with the Mayor’s administration as they continue to fine tune our agreement with PARKatlanta. As a result of these discussions, I think we will be able to address many of the concerns that my colleagues and I have heard about our parking enforcement.”
Some of the key provisions under the proposed amended PARKatlanta agreement are:
- PARKatlanta maintain all parking related signage in right-of-way.
- PARKatlanta must provide an online process for filing complaints on its website
- PARKatlanta must respond to all online complaints within 2 days
- PARKatlanta must share with the City all complaints, as well as PARKatlanta’s response
- PARKatlanta must have a specific phone number dedicated solely to questions and complaints
- Amendment calls for improved employee training that is approved by city
Citations may not be issued…:
- where meters are non-functioning
- Where unclear, conflicting, or hidden signage is in place
- Where signage needs to be repaired, replaced, or relocated
- Where signage is not installed, has been removed, or is otherwise missing from metered area
*If a ticket is issued in any of these cases, the ticket shall be promptly voided by PARKatlanta once they are made aware.
As a result of these concessions, PARKatlanta will pay the City $5.3 million annually instead of $5.5 million.
The legislation will be discussed during the City Council’s Transportation Committee meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 14 at Atlanta City Hall, Committee Room No. 2 (Second Floor), 55 Trinity Avenue, S.W.