The pot of spoiled beef stew that is Atlanta's hatred for everything parking-related was allowed to boil over last night at City Hall. Council members held a meeting that gave hundreds of residents the chance to air their grievances with PARKAtlanta and suggest how things might improved.
According to Atlanta magazine, the company handed out 203,000 citations last year, and it seems residents have decided that's just too much paper changing hands with a company that has been picked at for years now. In fact, after some close scrutiny in 2012, Mayor Kasim Reed had to rewrite the contract to ensure greater transparency from the ticketing force—and cost the city about $800,000. When Reed ran for reelection in 2013, he told citizens PARKatlanta's contract would likely be its last with the city.
Atlanta has a range of choices to change or maintain the current status quo: They range from the mild (re-up on the current contract) to the severe (de-privatize parking again, and let the city take care of it). According to the magazine, Reed said recently he liked the idea of the police taking over the program, though he also wanted to keep the number of tickets at the same level. Even with a nod from the mayor, that option might be unlikely, as most other groups are moving in the exact opposite direction.
Either way, the situation isn't likely to change drastically with any group. Ticketing has been fairly consistent no matter which group has been in charge. In 2008, the last year the city handled parking enforcement, officers issued 183,000 citations—by 2014 that number went up by only 11 percent, even though there are 2,500 meters today compared to 850 in 2008.
Have parking-ticket concerns you'd like to vent?
The next two PARKatlanta meetings will be held Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Inman Middle School and Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Complex.
· The end is nigh for PARKatlanta—now what? [Atlanta Magazine]
· Kwanza Hall Is Ready To Ditch PARKAtlanta [Curbed]
· As MARTA Cracks Down, Robotic Parking Attendants Shall Rise [Curbed]