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Well, Maybe not Everyone is opposed to Bridgeport Meters

I read Paul’s post below about new meters in Bridgeport with interest, and when written it was correct. It seems everyone in Bridgeport, CT was panning the new parking meters in the city. It seems that some of the merchants may be on the side of more consistent parking enforcement, read about it here.

These business people understand that fair, consistent parking enforcement means more spaces available for parkers, more customers, more business. Free parking means that employees take the spaces, people have no place to park, and less business.

But if there is any villain in this piece its the city government of Bridgeport, who sprung the meters on the unsuspecting citizens with little or no pre install publicity, no changes in the civic codes to meet the requirements of the new citation process, no support for a beleaguered sheriff whose job adjudicating protested citations went from 20 a month to 250, and most importantly, not getting the stakeholders (merchants, citizens, equipment suppliers) all on the same team.

Paul’s synopsis is a jewel:

My synopsis: city suggests meters; residents object. City installs meters; city forgets to educate residents and hire appeals staff. Sheriff takes heat for aggressive ticketing and slow appeals process; sheriff gets slammed by prominent resident; sheriff decides he’s not putting up with that crap anymore. City looks foolish. Mayor and city council members start to fear for their ratings; mayor and city council members start backpedaling.

The solution, if there is one, is for the city government to suck it up and start over. Place a six month moratorium on citations (give warnings) and begin the process over.  Pass the proper ordinances, hire support for the appeals process, begin an education program on how the systems works and why its good for everyone, hold meetings with all those for and against to clear the air, get ‘ambassadors’ on the street to explain the program, invest in signage that explains everything.  Then when the warnings drop to a manageable number, start giving citations.

But these folks are politicians. That’ll never happen. Look at how congress is attacking health care and tax reform. Too many agendas, too many up for reelection, too much politics.

Just Sayin

JVH

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