Enforcement & Permit Districts
Have a problem parking area? Create a permit restriction!
Is this how you are managing your parking challenges? Please don’t let that be your parking management approach. As we work with municipalities, we often find that they begin to lose control of their parking programs due to the overwhelming number of ‘band-aid’ restrictions that have been implemented to address immediate issues.
We understand that problem areas must be addressed promptly, especially if you have your administration or city council haranguing you to fix the problem, but we need to remember to try to be pro-active, rather than reactive, in managing parking issues. Now, don’t get us wrong, we like to tackle issues directly, but when it comes to parking, immediate reactions can often lead to chasing the tail of the problem rather than developing a long-lasting solution.
Once you apply the immediate fix, it will likely just push the problem to another location. While this might be your opportunity for job security (lol), this approach will ultimately lead to an unmanageable and inefficient overall parking operation. We are certain that some of you reading this article have inherited a parking program that is simply running from a list of restrictions.
So how should you address parking issues? Beside the critical need for community outreach and stakeholder engagement, the simple answer is effective parking enforcement.
No, we are not telling you to go out and blanket your community with parking tickets. But consider that effective parking enforcement is a balanced approach to achieve overall compliance. You need to identify the core root of an issue in order to address the specific solution needed. This can be achieved by deploying well-trained and diplomatic parking enforcement officers (or as we like to call them - Parking Ambassadors) that are policy-educated and informed on how to address a situation and the needs of the community that they serve. Will more tickets be written, yes, however it’s the approach that you take when addressing the situation at hand that will have the overall impact on the situation and the community.
When is a permit district required? Your municipality should have policies and procedures to determine when a permit district will be considered and the attributes necessary to attain approval. There should be defined protocols and assessments that need to be completed in order to apply standardized regulations. Additionally, whenever implementing a permit program, please consider the automations necessary to support a permit management system. If you have parking staff trying to monitor and manage permit and parking regulations that vary by block face without automation, it can become very difficult and cumbersome to enforce.
Don’t leave PIE until after you attend this presentation at noon on Wednesday.