Do we need a few more numbers before we draw conclusions?
We ran this article a few months ago in PT. It was put up on our home page and Tannery Creek’s Bill Franklin caught it and had these cogent comments:
Some comments on this the enforcement article. For the most part the comments are qualitative and singularly lacking in numeric analysis. For example the comment on overall fine revenue decreasing as a result of escalating fines is highly unlikely. Our experience is that scofflaws are inherently intransigent and their ticket fines accumulate regardless of escalating fee structures. Moreover, the percentage of scofflaws is typically in the 1 to 2% or so of parkers, so revenue from scofflaws surges initially then slips as scofflaws are reeled in and pay up.
But a more pernicious aspect of the scofflaw argument is, in effect, entrapment. Ticketed parkers are set up to be clobbered when their tickets reach an arbitrary number, say 5 or even 3 tickets. The real questions for the city and their parking enforcement are:
– For whom is the parking benefitting (e.g. BIA, residents, etc)
– What is the most effective method to maximize parking resources
– What is the most effective method to influence parkers to fulfill the needs of the former points
In most of the discussions I see over parking enforcement, little analysis is performed on parking as an eco-system where BIA, city, residents and parker needs are evaluated as a whole. This can be difficult since numeric analysis that INCLUDES sales revenue impacts on BIA members is hard to get. It is also clouded by local and national economic performance which can swamp out local initiatives, and by political hobbyhorses. But objectively evaluating business impact is highly worthwhile none the less. This means objectively measuring business revenue changes when parking initiatives are implemented.
Finally increasing enforcement coverage can be analyzed in a systematic manner. If you are interested I have analyzed enforcement rates, impacts on ticket and parking revenue, costs, net revenue, and business revenue impact. In short, clear parking management goals, systematic analysis and focus on major stake holders and eco-system yield better results.
We will also run this note in PT — JVH