I had decided to give Baghdad by the Bay a few weeks off. After all, they are the focus of most of my ridicule. However I just couldn’t pass this up — It comes from a correspondent in the UK. I guess all the parking woes aren’t just from the government. The private sector has a bit of the load to carry, too…
Here’s the deal — Its the classic scam. A couple of guys pick up some receipts somewhere and then go to a self park honor surface lot. This is usually just before a large event. As the people drive in they say "$5 please." The people pay.They are given a receipt. There is a minor problem. These two don’t work there. It’s a scam. Read all about it here.
But that’s not the worst of it. There are always going to be cases like this. The problem was the reaction by the operator of the lot. Let’s see – what would be a normal reaction.
"Yes, its a problem. We have doubled our management audits and have more people on the street. We haven’t been able to catch these guys, but we will. We have complained to the police and they are watching, too. We’ll get them and prosecute them…. and of course, all the folks who got citations while parking during this event will have them voided."
What was the actual reaction — taken from a report on San Francisco’s CBS 5:
In fact, because of those problems, his lot now has an attendant at
night. So what about Central Parking’s lot? We showed our surveillance
video to general manager Stanfield and asked her if it meant she needed
to put an attendant at that lot.
“Not necessarily,” was her response.
She says there are economic considerations and that attendants could cost too much.
“We do out lot checks and we do have managers that go through our lots,” she adds.
“It looks like on this lot it’s not working,” we told her.
After a long pause she said: “I think that what you saw was excessive, I don’t think that’s the norm.”
If it is happening "all over the city" as another lot manager reported, then why haven’t they been caught. If you have a surface lot with honor boxes, don’t you have a crew that goes around and checks the lot? Wouldn’t someone have even noticed that on certain nights there was no money in the box even though there were cars on the lot? Wouldn’t someone have noticed that EVERY car hadn’t paid? One would have expected that even within 50 miles of the ocean someone would have paid their parking…
But more importantly, are these operators really doing their jobs. It would seem that the lot supervisors are waiting until well after an event starts and then are surveying the lots. They certainly aren’t going around during the time the lots are filling, because if they were, it would seem that they would have caught the scoundrels in the act.
Parking Professionalism at its best.