Parking Explodes on Facebook


Parking Explodes on Facebook


Charlie, Wanda, Lorraine, India, Cary and Erin post 28 comments on one post on PT's Facebook page. Charlie, a parking manager, defends his posts and fends off a challenge by Wanda. Here is one that actually had Wanda noting that "Charlie has a point.":

There were two parts of the police officer analogy. The "by the book" police officer and the "i will cut you a break" police officer. Neither …one is more right/wrong then the other in any given situation. The fear of the "by the book officer" keeps people in line then the other type, but you need the other type for community relations.

My officers are technically called Peace Officers. I take our relationship with the community very seriously. I work hard every day to educate people as to not only the rules but more importantly, WHY we have these rules. That is, in my opinion the single most important role of my job.

We can do lots of things to try and change the attitude towards parking, but it is hard to balance the need to enforce without having the ability to flex some muscle every once in a while. I am not saying we need to do this often but rules without penalties are not by nature rules, they are more like a guideline.

I will try a different analogy. In my opinion, work ethics can be broken out into two main groups. People who work not to get fired and people who work to get promoted. It's the same principal. Reward or Punish. It is in everything we do. Not to break out into religion, but Wanda mentioned the Bible. This is a historically perfect example and I am by no means an expert, but 12 years of Catholic school did teach me something. The Bible basically teaches us , in a stunningly brilliant way, in two distinct methods. For the people who need motivation by staying away from fear, there is the threat of Hell. And for people who need positive motivation, the rewards of Heaven.

Now as an industry, I would like to see us understand WHY people do things and what effects do the way we institute, manage, enforce have on people's behavior. It what situations is it better to reward people and what cases is it better to get them to do the right thing by instilling some level of fear of punishment.

The reason I posted on the blog in the first place was not to defend the Officer, but rather to say to JVH that the history needs to be known in order to determine if the officer could, and I stress the word could, have done things differently. I would hope, and I try to teach, that my officers would have approached them to discuss options if there was no known bad history.

Ahh the contractors and UPS. I just had a contractor in a few months ago ask me how much it would cost to bag 3 meters spaces for an entire year. It cam out ot $15,000 or so. He wrote a check on the spot. He realizes that this expense in a $2,000,000 project will pay for itself in lost time, wages and safety. Do you think that $15k was out of his profits? No, it was built into the estimated cost of the project. I respectfully and empathically disagree with you on UPS. UPS does the same thing. They budget for parking tickets. Its a cost of doing business, just another expense like gas, wages, and trucks. So when the driver has no "fear" of reprimands from his boss for getting a ticket, then the behavior will not change. All they care about is getting the package there by noon, or whatever the deadline is because that is worth more than the parking ticket. So yes, you as a customer are paying those tickets.

I wonder if Dr. Shoup can rewrite his book and call it " There is no such thing as free XXXXX". Shipping could be one of those x's. Amazon, Target, Niemen Marcus can offer free shipping to you as the customer for a couple for reasons. One is there is a cost to ship it to the store to put on the shelves. When you buy it online it comes direct from the warehouse so they spend a little bit more to ship it to you but they saved the other cost. Amazon has limited physical infrastructure. So the book you buy on Amazon has less expenses associated with it then it does at the Barnes and Noble store.

A couple of comments for Charlie – The end of civilization is near if we believe that there are only two reasons to work – promotion or punishment. Is there not a third reason – work for work's sake. Do not we go to work to feel good about what we achieved in our job? I think this attitude is the difference between a Eurocentric approach and an American approach. Europeans work to have a vacation (six weeks, plus 10 holidays), Americans work to accomplish something – build a car, fly an airplane, create a better parking environment, grow the best crops, whatever. We have the greatest productivity on the planet. It's not because people are afraid they will be fired. It has to do with their attitude.

If we accept the third position, that of work for work's sake, then how can we create an environment where people park properly because they think it's the right thing to do ( like driving the speed limit, not robbing banks, etc.) We need to think outside the box and change behavior because people want to change the behavior, not because they HAVE to change the behavior or be punished. If most people followed laws only because they might be caught breaking them, and not because they knew the action was wrong and they wanted to do right, we would have anarchy. We could have no freedoms. It would be 1984 in spades.

As for the contractor and simply building in fines in their costs, is that what we are all about? If that is the case, then all you have to do is be rich and you can flaunt any rule or regulation. Just park wherever you want and pay the ticket – to hell with it. Seems to me that defeats the entire concept why we have parking rules. Unless, of course, the underlying reason for the rules for parking is to collect money for the city. If that is the case, then who cares.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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