The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the city is looking into requiring parking operators to keep attendants on site even when the facility is full (as at a sporting event). Read about it here.
They think that having an attendant on site will reduce the incidence of crime. In other words, they are placing the responsibility for crime in parking facilities at the door of the facility owner.
First of all, I don’t like government telling private industry what to do. However I do think that parking operators should take it upon themselves to do a little self policing. And this might be a good place to start.
We have had many rules passed because industry doesn’t live up to its social responsibility. Most of the environmental regulations are there because our corporations weren’t good stewards of the land around them.
Why shouldn’t parking operators and owners of facilities provide better security? For many years our national organizations have been reluctant to publish guidelines for security. Why? Well if there are guidelines and there is a lawsuit, then the operator might be in a bad position because they didn’t follow the “national standard.” Sigh. So in a litigious society, it’s better to just do nothing.
Nope, wrong. We know that CCTV, lighting, white paint, and a few patrols can make garages safer. What would happen if the lots and garages in downtown Cleveland, instead of fighting the idea, came up with one of their own?
Hire some security guards and have them patrol the lots during the period they are full? If all the facilities got together and put a few bucks into a pot, they could hire a private company to patrol the lots and help reduce the crime. So it would cost fifty or a hundred a lot per night. Raise the prices a buck a car and that would cover it.
The crime problem would be reduced, the customers would be happy, the city would benefit, and all would be right in the parking world.
Instead, what do we do? The head of the local parking association is opposed to the idea, but has no alternative to solve the problem.
Garages and parking lots are traditionally a crime magnet. Why not do something about it. It doesn’t have to cost anything out of pocket – I’m sure that if drivers thought they were getting a bit more security, they wouldn’t have a problem paying a bit more.