I wrote last month that I was going to host a discussion on racism in parking. I had read a number of articles about the topic and felt maybe it was one that could be of value to our industry. I have come to the conclusion it is a topic that can be beneficial and could also be harmful.
I have received an article that invites discussion, and I will print that in the August Issue of PT. I received another article that may cause discomfort among some of our readers. I will print it also, but with some comments. I think that an accusatory approach never brings benefits, but perhaps we need to see all sides.
My comments about racism last month did elicit the following thoughtful piece from the UK:
The topic ” Is Parking racist” seems to show the huge difference between US and the UK and Europe. I would be interested to understand why or if anyone actually would think in this way.
The parking sector is so huge, that for instance, whilst offering permits cheaper in one residential zone to another, may make one believe the thought of race played a part, actually most authorities, care about their residents over commuting visitors and thats just one reason to have for instance cheap residential parking, regardless of race and charge anyone else more.
With regards enforcement, the extremes we have often heard are “you gave me a ticket, because of my colour, perceived race, height, size, the vehicle I am driving” The difficulty with that statement in 2020 is that thousands of penalty charge notices (as called by some) are issued around the world, from unattended camera’s, that are rear facing, so its not generally acceptable for a choice to be available based on anything other than the offence. Whilst carrying out enforcement outside a school, the priority has to be that of the kids.
Its quite possible for parts of the parking industry, being so global, to make the question true, but i would be interested to see how the question pans out. It could be the perfect opportunity for us all to continue to design out, the issue of any ambiguity based not just on race, but just being imperfect humans on any average day of the week.
I tend to agree. It seems to me that there is little evidence that in the current day racism has any more to do with the reasons parking rules were passed and enforced than the fact that a local business or neighborhood wanted to protect a valuable asset. We aren’t perfect, and we make mistakes. Can we not approach those mistakes without rancor and see them for what they are? Maybe overzealous, maybe in error, maybe a rule seeped in time and times have changed. Or maybe, just maybe, some rules offer solutions to problems and make our streets safer for all.
I welcome your comments and any discussion. Thanks.