All the activity here at Parking Blog Brought on by the NYT publicity is backing off a bit. Most of the people were non parking types who found an outlet for their frustration. Most were civil, some displayed their lack of cooth and showed how they could only communicate with Anglo Saxon wisdom.
All that having been said, perhaps we should take a moment and reflect on the frustration and anger in the general population. Of course, we are "only doing our jobs" but consider this:
If 95% of the parking citations go unwritten, that mean getting a ticket is like winning(losing) the lotto. Most of the time when you cheat, and you know you cheat, you don’t get the ticket, and one time in 10 you get one. Its like losing a game. You are angry, frustrated, and disappointed.
Obviously folks who are scofflaws don’t think that breaking parking laws is immoral, like murder or robbery. Its a game — Us vs Them. They roll the dice that we won’t come by and catch them. And when we do, they are upset, not only for getting the ticket and being charged the money, but also for losing the game.
Of course, we may also make the process of paying the ticket or getting our car unbated or back from towing difficult which adds insult to injury.
So, I might offer a suggestion —
1. Allow people to pay tickets on line, by phone, by mail, by carrier pigeon, by credit card, debit card, cash, check, and maybe even by "working it off." (I haven’t a clue what that means, but perhaps you could pick up paper in your neighborhood for a couple of hours.)
2. Tow only at the last resort (Those blocking fire hydrants or driveways, or those who simply aren’t going to pay, ever (guy with 20 tickets, etc)
3. Boot, but ensure people can get the boot removed without tremendous pain — a quick phone call, and rapid removal response.
4. Train, train, train — allow officers to give warnings if people walk up when they are in the process. That will take the pressure off both. Or if someone walks up, have a way so officers can lower the offense. Give them the ability to adjudicate, sort of, on the street. Make the enforcement officers your friends.
Any ideas —