I had heard about a campaign for a ‘parking bill of rights’ in Atlanta and figured that the locals would be out for blood, demanding fewer tickets and that citation writers be drawn and quartered. I did some research and boy was I surprised.
The campaign seems to be heralded by a local TV station. You can read about it here. The “Bill of Rights” asked the following:
1) Working, easy to use meters
2) Clearly marked parking spaces
3) Clear and understandable signs
This is stunning. First of all, why is there any discussion. In Atlanta these ‘demands’ have been brought before the city council and actually debated. Well perhaps not debated but tabled awaiting a report from the department of transportation. HUH…
I note that Washington DC is having community meetings to discuss parking problems, most of the complaints fall right in line with the ones listed above. Read about DC’s problems here. They are holding focus groups and asking input from citizens. Fair enough. But first why not solve the issues mentioned above. My guess is that 90% of the complaints will go away. Of course, that is pretty much how DC works — at all levels. See a problem and hold hearings. Obvious solutions are ignored.
What is all this about? Shouldn’t cities the size of DC and Atlanta be able to solve these problems without the citizens storming city hall? Fix meters, check signage, mark spaces. Isn’t this job 1,2, and 3 of parking operations. What is going on here?
My suggestion is that job descriptions be reviewed and if these items aren’t in any of those working for the parking or transportation departments, then they be added. Give them six months to solve the problems and if they don’t, fire them.
I would fire them anyway because they should have been able to figure this out for themselves. After all, the local citizens in Atlanta figured it out, and they aren’t parking pros.
Perhaps they need to spend a bit more time walking around their cities and looking at the parking problems and a bit less sitting behind their desks. Maybe a first good move would be to lock managers out of their offices and force them to see what they are managing.