Warnings, then Let the Hammer Fall – Good Idea?


Warnings, then Let the Hammer Fall – Good Idea?

I received an article from the United Parcel Service focusing on the curb. However within it were these sage words:

Let’s talk enforcement – and right away, I’ll admit that UPS pays its fair share in parking tickets. But if actual behavior change is desired, and not just an ongoing municipal revenue stream, then enforcement needs to be consistent, equitable and robust. This was an issue with New York’s “Clear Curbs” pilot launched early last year. The intention to limit curb use on congested avenues maybe made theoretically, but if only a single United States Postal Service truck parks at the curb regardless – and can’t be ticketed or towed – then you still have an entire lane blocked to traffic.

Consistent, Equitable, and Robust. What wonderful words.  But how many cities can actually claim that they meet those criteria? Do we really care about behavior change, or are we simply filling that maw known as the General Fund?

I wonder what would happen if instead of writing a ticket for a first offender for a minor infraction like overstaying a time limit or parking without a permit the PEO wrote a warning. The second infraction hit em with a robust fine. We have the technology available to track this and do it. Wouldn’t most people change their behavior after the warning – and feel better about parking at the same time? PLUS the ticket written on the second offense could remind them that they got a warning last time, and heap a little guilt.

If a PEO can show a citizen that this is the second offense it would seem to me that it would take a lot of the sting out of the citation and perhaps mediate a confrontation.

Is this a good idea or bad? All you folks in charge of municipal parking out there let me know.


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John Van Horn

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