On balance the city of Los Angeles is saying that it can’t cut parking ticket rates, because…wait for it…they have a shortfall in the city’s budget. So this means that the city of Angels sees parking citations as a revenue source and not as a way to change the way people live in the city.
My experience is that parking folks see fines as a way to adjust behavior. The revenue is secondary.
It seems the Mayor of our fair city empaneled a commission to study parking a couple of years ago and has received a report recommending many changes to how parking is handled. Its pretty comprehensive and has some good ideas, but what I found most distressing was that when you get to the end and the list of the 30 or 40 on the commission, not one was a full fledged member of the parking profession.
Its not that they don’t exist in Los Angeles. We have consultants, parking operators, experts who run parking on and off street in a hundred cities within a stone’s throw of LA. There are equipment manufacturers, software engineers, and even the odd editor. But not one was asked to serve on a commission that was planning the future of parking for the city.
Most were politicians, a few restaurant owners, gadflys who ran local commissions and ‘represented’ neighborhoods. Granted their input was needed. But as the Times noted in the editorial, the technology used in LA is decades out of date. Who on the commission knew diddly about parking technology, where it worked, where it doesn’t, and how to apply it.
I know I don’t play well with politicians. But I’m sure there are many in our business who do.
In the mean time we will continue with a Pay by Cell program no one knows about, having enforcement follow street sweepers and write tickets, signage that is so complex a lawyer would run away screaming, and $150 million generated for the general fund.
All is right with the world.