Economic Sustainability & Transportation

Quattro | brainstorming

20, نوفمبر 2010

ideas for improving and/or redesigning Atlanta’s parking system

  • Develop a community transportation card and market it for quality parking and mass transit
  • Offer incentives towards parking by using public transit (e.g. MARTA)
  • Use motion sensor parking to eliminate parking tickets and reduce amount of patrol officers needed
  • Use an increasing level of charges per hour to discourage long time parkers (but it would allow for it, if necessary)
  • more to come.

From the research: some ideas and problems that need to be addressed..

SIGNAGE: so one of the main problems with parking was the sign issue. sometimes people cannot see the signs because of bushes or the signs or not put in the proper area. There should be a simplification of the times and areas people are allowed to park. Perhaps a map of the city, color coded where people can park 9 to 5, and then maybe one from 7 to 9 and then a 24hr period: three colors, three time limits, one convenient map to show it all- no signs needed.

METER COPS: another problem that was pretty obvious was the man power it takes to actually roam the streets of a huge city and give parking tickets. what an unfulfilling job that would be. how many people does it take to give parking citations and can we limit the number of people (thus cutting costs for the city) that are employed to do this kind of work. not to mention the “above the law” attitude that these people have. proof can be seen in the many videos below, excuses are made, and the traffic cops themselves basically get away with anything while the citizens of the city are paying fines left and right. apparently these people find self-esteem in writing citations

FRAUD: people are so burdened by the fines they have to pay they try to come up with ways to either get out of parking tickets or either fraud the meter itself. if you dont pay, there will be a warrant for your arrest, so frauding a paper window time stamp or hitting the meter with a baseball bat will get you out of it.

PRICE: cars with one passenger are fined the same amount as cars with 8 passengers, smart cars are fined the same as hummers. the price is the same for each hour you pay into it. whether you are there for 2 min or 2 hours. there needs to be a way for people to pay for the parking they actually use, and keep up with how much time they have left so they can be law-abiding citizens and avoid tickets the best they can. PARKING TICKETS SHOULD NOT BE A MAIN SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THE CITY.  harrassing citizens and screwing them out of their hard earned money should not be a business model, especially for the city.

TRANSPORTATION: by encouraging people to not even drive cars would be a good way to cut the impact of the ridiculous way we park. providing incentives for people who buy bicycles, carpool, ride buses, ride MARTA (even though MARTA kind of sucks) perhaps we can combine these principals by given people “points” for each time they use public transportation and then you can cash in your points when you park, reducing the cost of parking for the citizen.

A LITTLE RESEARCH:::::

WSB News //

Tempers Flare Over Parking Tickets

By

Jon Lewis

@ September 15, 2010 7:47 AM Permalink | Comments (11)

(WSB Radio)  Homeowners in several Atlanta neighborhoods are complaining Park Atlanta is writing them parking tickets–when they’re parked in front of their own homes!!Residents from Grant Park to Collier Hills are complaining they’ve been ticketed by Park Atlanta, the third-party company contracted to share ticket revenue with the City of Atlanta.

Listen: WSB’s Chris Chandler reportsThe tickets are being given on residential streets–no businesses, no meters, no hydrants, no stop signs nearby.

Ticketed Collier Hills resident David Park tells Channel 2 Action News he feels “Anger, frustration that the city would go to this length to have revenue.”

Atlanta Public Works issued a statement saying “parking enforcement will be resourced in a greater amount than in recent years”, but insisting they are only responding to neighbor complaints–not trollling the streets looking for victims.

NEWS>PARKING METER PRICE GOES UP!

Takes money from our hands (that we would have spent at local shops) and gives it to the city.

ATLANTA: video yourself paying the meter- or get booted!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoToDBWwcEo

PARK ATLANTA: Metered Street Parking- straight from the website.

http://www.atlantadowntown.com/get-around/parking/metered-street-parking

The City of Atlanta has more than 2,500 regulated on-street parking spaces within the City limits, offered via parking meters and time-limited parking areas. The metered spaces are controlled by single space meters and parking pay stations. On-street metered parking spaces offer visitors short-term parking while they shop, dine and conduct business. Most regulated spaces are located in the core business districts and surrounding areas and hours of enforcement and time limits vary by Zone.
Please visit PARKatlanta’s website for more details on metered parking regulations and to see a map of the enforcement zones for Atlanta’s Downtown Business District.

Parking Meters

The time limits, hourly rates, and enforcement hours for parking meters are posted directly on the meter according to the corresponding Zone. Time limits and hours of enforcement are also posted on nearby signs. Although rates are subject to change, most meters are $1.00 per hour.  Single-space meters accept quarters, dimes, and nickels.

Pay-by-Space Multi-Space Meters

New ‘Pay-by-Space’ multi-space meters have been installed along some streets throughout Downtown. One multi-space meter will handle payments for several spaces within a block.  Each parking space is numbered—and payment instructions are shown on each multi-space meter. The new meters accept coins, dollar bills, and VISA and MasterCard payments; the minimum amount for credit card users is $1. To report a malfunctioning parking meter (single or multi-space), call 1-888-266-1360 Benefits of On-Street Parking

The City of Atlanta’s operator for public on-street parking services is PARKatlanta. PARKatlanta is modernizing the City’s operations to improve convenience, access, fairness, and service. An effectively managed on-street parking system provides many benefits to City motorists, residents, businesses, and visitors.

More Benefits of Atlanta’s On-Street Parking Program:

  • Increases availability of on-street parking spaces
  • Decreases ‘cruising’ for parking spaces, decreases search time for parking spaces, decreases congestion, and decreases waste/pollution
  • Increased efficiency and convenience for patrons
  • Attracts more customers to Downtown businesses, thereby increasing revenue
  • Maintains updated parking meter technology
  • Generates critical revenue for the City

IS THIS REALLY TRUE?? WHAT DO YOU THINK?  so parking fines are critical to our cities budget??

PARK ATLANTA: our local problem.

PAIN AND PARKING IN LA: ridiculous fines that have an impact on everyone, wasted man power to give tickets and outrageous laws about when and where you can park.

Upset citizens in other countries: problems with parking and enforcement:

Unhappy traffic cops… people whos job it is to give tickets.

RIGHT HERE IN ATL: actual parking laws and fines.

Types and Costs of Parking Citations

 

Violation Code Violation Description Fine Within 14 Days Fine After 14 Days
40-6-200 WRONG WAY PARKED $25.00 $50.00
40-6-203 PARKED ON CROSSWALK OR BRIDGE $25.00 $50.00
40-6-203(A) BLOCKING PUBLIC OR PRIVATE DRIVEWAY $25.00 $50.00
40-6-203(B) PARKED WITHIN 20 FT OF CROSSWALK, 15 FT OF FIRE HYDRANT OR 30 FT OF STOP SIGN $25.00 $50.00
150-113 PARK IN PASSENGER LOADING ZONE $25.00 $50.00
150-114 PARK IN FREIGHT LOADING ZONE $25.00 $50.00
150-115 DESIGNED FOR BUS STOPS, TAXICAB, VEH. FOR HIRE $25.00 $50.00
150-117 PARKING BUS OR TAXI NOT IN STAND $25.00 $50.00
150-118 PARKING IN BUS STOP OR TAXI STAND $25.00 $50.00
150-132 PARKING METER VIOLATION $25.00 $50.00
150-133 PARKING METER VIOLATION – OVERTIME PARKING $25.00 $50.00
150-158 RESIDENT PK PERMIT – FALSE INFORMATION ON APPLICATION $25.00 $50.00
150-86 GENERAL PARKING VIOLATION $25.00 $50.00
150-86(A) NO PARKING ANY TIME OR NO PARKING TOW ZONE $25.00 $50.00
150-89 VIOLATION OF RUSH HOUR PARKING $40.00 $80.00
150-90 ON-STREET HANDICAPPED PARKING $100.00 $200.00
150-91 PARKING NOT TO OBSTRUCT TRAFFIC $25.00 $50.00
150-92 PARKING ON NARROW STREETS $25.00 $50.00
150-93 PARKING PROHIBITED FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES $25.00 $50.00
150-93(2) PARKING PROHIBITED WASH/GREASE/REPAIR VEHICLE $25.00 $50.00
150-95 PARKING IN BUSINESS DISTRICT $25.00 $50.00
150-97 PARKING RESTRICT/TRUCK AND BUS $25.00 $50.00
150-99 PARKING ON CITY SIDEWALK $100.00 $200.00
150-99(A) TRUCK/MOTOR VEHICLE ON SIDEWALK $100.00 $200.00
150-99(B) LARGE TRUCK ON SIDEWALK $1,000.00 $1,000.00

Listing of Regulations

Sec. 150-88. Moving, impoundment of vehicles; sale of impounded vehicles.

c) Impoundment. Any police officer may remove or cause to be removed to the nearest vehicle pound or other place of safety any vehicle found upon a highway when: 6) The vehicle is immobilized through the use of a vehicle immobilization device as defined at section 162-251 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances, and all associated tickets, fees and fines have not been paid in full to the City of Atlanta within 24 hours of immobilization.
(h) Immobilization of vehicles. Any sworn police officer or parking enforcement officer may cause a vehicle to be immobilized if the vehicle has been issued a minimum of three unsatisfied delinquent parking tickets. The charge for the immobilization of vehicles under this section shall not exceed $50.00 per day for the removal of the vehicle immobilization device or devices. Neither the city nor its parking management service shall have liability for any damage, vandalism or theft of any immobilized vehicles.


Sec. 150-94. All-night parking.

No person shall park a vehicle, except an authorized emergency vehicle, between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. of any day on any street within the area bounded by Baker Street on the north, Ivy Street and Central Avenue on the east, Mitchell Street on the south and Spring Street on the west, including the boundary streets.


Sec. 150-95. Parking in business district and certain other areas.

(a) Time limits in business district. Parking shall not be permitted in any business district, including the central traffic district, longer than two hours between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and may be limited to a shorter period when appropriate signs are posted.
(b) Use of city agency or board of education parking lots. No person shall park a vehicle of any description in any parking lot operated and maintained by any city agency or by the board of education, except those having official business with the city or board of education and only in places therein and for the time designated by markings therein.
(c) Public pay parking in parking lots of city departments. Whenever the mayor and council have approved for public pay parking any parking lot operated and maintained by a city department, the lot may be used for that purpose when not required for normal city operations. The fees charged and the method of operation shall be determined by the department responsible for the lot.
d) MARTA parking lots. No person shall park a vehicle of any description in any parking lot operated and maintained by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, except patrons while using the transit facility and employees and only in places therein and for time designated by markings therein.


Sec. 150-113. Stopping, standing or parking in passenger curb loading zone

No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle for any purpose or period of time, other than for the expeditious loading or unloading of passengers, or passengers and drivers for the provision of off-street attendant parking services as defined and regulated by sections 150-120 through 150-131 in any place marked as a passenger curb loading zone during hours when the regulations applicable to that curb loading zone are effective.


Sec. 150-132. Parking time limits; fees

(a) The period of time of parking in areas designated as parking meter zones shall be registered by mechanical parking meters, and the charges which are reasonably necessary to defray the expenses incident thereto for this parking shall be as set out in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Such meters shall provide for maximum time limits as indicated on each meter, of either 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours or 4 hours. The fee in each instance shall be at the rate of $1.00 per half an hour of time allowed.
(c) Vehicles which have purchased a currently valid truck loading zone/parking meter pass pursuant to Atlanta City code section 150-111 (c) shall be permitted to park at all parking meter spaces in the city of Atlanta without charge for a period not to exceed the maximum time limit indicated on each meter or 30 minutes, whichever is more.

http://www.parkatlanta.org/tickets.html#contest

Traffic Cops Violate the Law in order to give more tickets.

Traffic Cops: above the law?

ATLANTA’s TRAFFIC WARS:

In winter of 2009, the City of Atlanta began cruising the streets looking to generate revenue from illegally parked vehicles and vehicles with outstanding parking fines. To accomplish this task, they contracted a company called PARKatlanta to enforce parking rules and collect fines.

PARKatlanta also subcontracted A-Tow wrecker service to boot and tow cars with excessive parking fines or which were illegally parked. As a dispatcher for A-tow, I’ve seen fines in excess of $3000.00 on some of these vehicles.

It sounds unbelievable but it’s true.

Within the last month or so there has been some heavy opposition from citizens and business owners alike concerning the Atlanta’s park enforcement company. City Councilman Kwanza Hall is in the forefront for the revision of PARKatlanta’s enforcement strategy.

According to Creative Loafing, Hall says PARKatlanta needs to better inform the public as to where they can and can’t park. He also says the public deserves time to adjust to newly unveiled no-parking signs and freshly installed meters.

The Atlanta City Council has passed a 30-day moratorium on PARKatlanta’s ability to ticket and ultimately boot illegally parked cars. The parking enforcement program may need some fine tuning but overall it is a revenue generator for the city of Atlanta. There are many legitimate reasons for parking tickets and although some people go ahead and pay them there are plenty of others who have repeatedly violated the law and ultimately end up having their vehicle booted and/or impounded.

Who Do I Believe?

The media coverage of this situation has not been the most accurate either. While local television stations have had easy access to record ticket writers, booters, and other employees of PARKatlanta enforcing the law, they have chosen at times to show boot models on TV that were not used by PARKatlanta but some other booting companies doing business in the city.
The media also fails to cover the people with excessive parking fees which the city needs to collect and recirculate to help itself out of financial trouble. With all the cutbacks and layoffs, there needs to be more

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 revenue generators in place or the things that are generating revenue need to be amplified. The monies generated from these problem drivers who do not want to pay for parking could possibly be used to open up some of the fire stations that have closed within the last few years or to create jobs in some other revenue generating area for the city.

The moratorium will be over in a few days and it will be interesting to see what changes have taken place. There will be changes. The community has spoken and their voices have been heard.

Street Sweeping In LA.  (AKA. How Our Government Economically Rapes Us)

So can I  park here or not?!?! wtf… 

FROM AN ATLANTA COP: what do we owe?

 city of Atlanta is owed about $10.5 million in unpaid parking citations issued during the past 3 1/2 years, and many scofflaws have racked up hundreds of dollars in parking fines and penalties without paying.
An AJC review of court data shows nearly 289,000 citations went unpaid from January 2005 through July. Court records from the same period indicate vehicles registered to at least 179 people had debts of $1,000 or more.
That may be because motorists have had few incentives to fill the city’s coffers.
Unlike many cities its size, Atlanta has few enforcement mechanisms at its disposal. Debtors’ cars aren’t immobilized with a “boot,” vehicle registrations aren’t suspended, and only the police are empowered to tow in most areas — if and when they have the time.
Councilman H. Lamar Willis said Atlanta has a number of problems with parking enforcement and collection of citations.
“It’s not just a shortcoming on the part of the Public Works Department, but the city as a whole is failing,” Willis said in a telephone interview. “Having $10.5 million dollars sitting out there is something we desperately need to collect on.”
The city made a mistake, he said, by cutting the parking management staff from 28 to nine employees in May.
“Unless we do something to make people realize that their decision to ignore tickets has consequences, we’ll never collect that revenue,” Willis said.
Consider Aki Smith, who court records allege is one of Atlanta’s leading parking scofflaws. The consultant, who admits his car has been cited often while he’s been in meetings downtown, allegedly owes the city $4,100.
When told of the debt, Smith couldn’t believe it.
“I’m completely shocked,” Smith said in a phone interview, adding that he thought the fines owed were only $400 to $500. “I would have thought I’d get a letter or something.”
The one time Smith’s car was towed, it wasn’t because of his outstanding parking fees. He said he was sitting in his car in a no-parking zone outside Peachtree Center earlier this year, “and the next thing you know, I was blocked in.” He had to get out and watch as his car was towed away by parking enforcement officers.
Parking fines range from $10 for an expired meter to $1,000 for a truck with six or more tires parked on a sidewalk. Most parking citations are doubled if not paid within a week.
For many, parking downtown can lead to frequent trips to court to pay fines.
“We have people who come in, and we know who they are,” said Doug Mincher, Atlanta Municipal Court administrator.
But some violators just don’t bother. After 90 days, they’re turned over to the city’s collection agency, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). They’re mailed up to four notices requesting payment.
Once all the notices are sent, Atlanta has few means of going after scofflaws.
Other cities give motorists the boot — a tire-locking device that immobilizes vehicles. Chicago is considering tightening its enforcement by booting cars after only two unpaid tickets. Atlanta does not yet boot.
Drivers in California, Indiana, Wisconsin and other states who run up unpaid parking tickets can have their vehicle registrations blocked or suspended. But Georgia has no similar restrictions.
Other cities tow vehicles that show up on a list of parking scofflaws. Atlanta’s Department of Public Works tows vehicles parked hazardously or in tow-away zones, but not those by parking meters or other off-limit areas.
The Atlanta Police Department’s operating manual states that an illegally parked vehicle with at least three unpaid tickets or fines totaling more than $100 can be towed.
Officer Eric Schwartz, an Atlanta police spokesman, said officers can specifically request information on unpaid parking citations from dispatchers when running license plates. But he couldn’t say how often officers check for citations or how often towing companies actually are summoned.
And some cities have cut deals. In June, to clear up a backlog of unpaid parking tickets, Detroit offered a 50 percent reduction in fines and penalties to offenders who stepped forward and paid up. Las Vegas ran a similar program in July.
ACS spokeswoman Carrie Hyun said her company works for several cities, and each has different parking enforcement policies. “We do what we are capable of under the city’s enforcement rules,” she said.
The lack of enforcement could be the reason for Atlanta’s low collection rate.
An AJC analysis found the city had collected only about 42 percent of the nearly $5.7 million in parking fines and penalties issued since March 2007 (paid citation data for January and February 2007 were not available).
By comparison, Oklahoma City collected about 70 percent of the nearly $1.5 million in parking tickets issued in 2007, according to that city’s Municipal Court. The collection rate in Dallas last year was about 68 percent.
Zena Fernino, Dallas’ parking enforcement manager, said she wanted the city to be more aggressive in punishing scofflaws. “A lot of cities with more stringent regulations have higher collection rates,” she said.
Atlanta revenue chief Gary Donaldson, who would only respond to questions by e-mail, wrote that the city had “achieved success” in having ACS collect outstanding debt. “With a decreased city staff it is a prudent business decision to hire an outside agency to collect our outstanding debt,” he said.
The days of parking violators ignoring citations could come to an end later this year when a private company with expanded enforcement capabilities takes over parking ticket collections after the city’s current contract with ACS expires Nov. 25.
The city is negotiating with Nashville-based Central Parking System for a comprehensive parking management services contract. The company already operates about 50 parking lots and garages in Atlanta.
The proposed contract would give Central Parking the power to boot and tow, as well as other collection capabilities, said Public Works spokeswoman Valerie Bell-Smith. Current city parking enforcement employees would work for and be paid by Central Parking, she said.
“I think it’s important in what it means to the city,” Russell Miller, general manager for Central Parking’s Atlanta division, said of parking fees. “It’s a big source of revenue.”

Councilman Willis also hopes for an improvement, saying, “There’s a significant amount of money that’s left on the table that could have been a benefit to the taxpayers and the city of Atlanta.”

Cop Trickery?

Getting out of a parking ticket: the cut and paste method to fraud paying for parking!

OTHER INNOVATIVE IDEAS:

Automated Parking?

Parking Space, IN Space

parking_4(image via: Paradoxoff Planet)

Too many cars and not enough parking spaces is a familiar refrain, illustrated by the images above. Creativity will find a way, whether it’s utilizing the space under one’s patio or out on the balcony – the latter presenting a formidable logistics problem.

CarTowers at the Autostadt: A Hive for Beetles

parking_1a(image via: Hoax Slayer)

The CarTowers is a 20-story tall car storage tower in Wolfsburg, Germany. It’s owned & operated by Volkswagen, which explains why all the cars – around 800 at full capacity – are VWs. The CarTowers has often been used to illustrate public parking garages of the future even though it’s a private endeavor that merely allows VW to save space.

parking_1b(image via: Schreibtnix)

Built of steel and glass, the CarTowers is just one part of the Autostadt, a unique, “Car World” style attraction that includes a variety of car-related attractions. Visitors who fork over a few Euros get to enjoy The TurmFahrt (or CarTower Discovery, though I prefer the German name) and embark on the same trip a shiny new VW takes when slated for a slot in the CarTowers.

parking_1c(image via: DayLife)

Certainly the footprint left by the CarTowers is much less than that of a standard car park, even multi-level parking garages such as those at airports. Without the winding ramps a tremendous amount of space can be saved. VW’s system should be workable for public lots though the expense may be prohibitive.

Pay on Foot Station

The new Pay On Foot station can dispense multiple bills in change. Weatherproof, dirt-resistant change compartment for smooth operation. Offering reliable operation in both on-line and off-line mode. Ideally suited for applications involving a wide range of parking rates. http://www.ipcusa.com/

Weird Stockholm Parking Garage:

Eco Parking – Not a Contradiction

parking_15(image via: Green Corridor)

Though some may say that driving isn’t eco-friendly at all, the fact is society is structured for driving. Compromises are in the works though, such as the Green Corridor Indian Road Green Space in Windsor, Canada. Only a design exercise at the present time, the so-called Eco Parking Lot above tilts greenward by making parking more efficient, incorporating naturalized areas and using permeable concrete pavement to let rainwater drain.

Quattro | field research

20, نوفمبر 2010

interview 1

subject: Darren Schrick

do you park in the city often?

  • Yes, I park in the city two to three times a week.

is the system easy to use? what are some of its notable flaws?

  • It’s random.

what do you mean by that?

  • There are so many places to park, and there are a lot of different prices. Some areas are safe; some are not. I guess those would be considered flaws? Well, there’s no consistent experience with parking in Atlanta

have you ever considered using public transportation?

  • Yes, I have. I haven’t looked into it further. I know there is the park and ride transportation that leads from not too far from my house, but I’ve never taken the time to check it out.

do you have any particular reason for deciding not to look into it?

  • Hmm. I’ve never really had the time to sit around and think it out. I already have a car, so I didn’t really consider the other options.

what changes would you like to see in the parking system around Atlanta?

  • Maybe more of a “one size fits all” approach.

like what?

  • The ability to find a parking spot and to know how much it’s going to be. I want to be able to not worry about if I have access to a certain lot or if I am too far away from other destinations. Will I have to move my car multiple times and pay multiple fees for parking? It would also be nice to have a one-stop internet spot to find the answers to all of my questions.

how do you feel about time constraints associated with parking meters?

  • I hate them. I can’t stand it when I know my time is running low and I can’t get out of a meeting. I hate trying to get back to my car in five minutes when I know it’s going to take 10 and hoping that I don’t have a ticket.

can you describe any particularly negative experience you have had with parking in Atlanta?

  • I’ve had at least one parking ticket. The other day, I parked in a cheap lot and when I got back to my car, somebody had thrown a cup of coffee over one side of it. I was so mad.

thank you for your time. apologies for making you recall terrible past experiences.

  • Don’t worry about it.

Quattro | elevator pitch

20, نوفمبر 2010

INNOVATION PROJECT

For vehicle operators
Who are dissatisfied with city parking techniques,
Our solution is a parking rewards plan
That involves ‘space monitored’ charge options for parking.
Unlike the parking meter system, which penalizes users,
Our system rewards users with public parking/transportation credits.

Quattro | parking control images

20, نوفمبر 2010

How to Nudge Consumers

17, نوفمبر 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704575304575296243891721972.html

The Wall Street Journal Article we talked about…very interesting

-Shabi

Quattro

11, نوفمبر 2010

Group Members:  Rachel Wu, Caitlyn Simpson , Geoffrey Rees , Marlon Brazelton, Valerie Reiss

Broad Topic:  Economic Sustainability for Urban Residences

Transportation/ Parking — We would like to analyze the way people park and figure out the negative aspects of parking such as the feeding the meter and getting  tickets. The more global issue could be economic sustainability for urban dwellers.


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