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08.15.18

The Other Side of Parking Enforcement
Your $25 Helped Repair That Bleeping Pothole…
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By UPsafety Team Member:
Julie Miranto of United Public Safety

If there’s one thing that really gets people hot-under-the-collar it’s parking tickets. Parking enforcement gets a bad rap, and, believe it or not, so do the people that work for enforcement software companies, like those of us at UPsafety.

In the short amount of time I’ve worked here, I’ve already had several friends tell me that I’m “the enemy” for the sole reason that I work for a company that sells enforcement software.

And it’s not just me, even our developers have said they sometimes feel “guilty” for programming software that makes enforcement easier, more efficient, and accessible. But, in all honesty, we at UPsafety know that we’re not actually making people’s lives more difficult. In fact, what we’re truly a part of is making communities better.

In an arena like law enforcement—which is historically burdened with time-intensive manual processes—streamlining a municipal process like parking with intuitive software helps staff focus on other, more-important tasks.

Here’s four more reasons why quality parking enforcement is so important:

Traffic Flow

The original purpose for regulating parking was to keep our roadways and curbsides moving. With no regulation, it would be easy for people to “camp” their cars anywhere, taking up the space for hours, days, or even weeks.

What’s the result? People spend more time driving around aimlessly looking for parking, some park in residential areas because commercial streets are full, walking distances get further and further, and suddenly everything is moving a whole lot slower.

Think about it this way. If there was no regulated and enforced parking, where would people park? I guarantee you’d see cars parked on sidewalks, in the middle of roads, on narrow streets, and in whatever other “creative” spots they could find. Imagine if an ambulance was delayed on a call because illegally parked cars are blocking roadways—not ideal.

With parking regulations, the flow of traffic moves more naturally, and everyone has a fair chance to make use of the available space.

Compliance

The typical reaction to receiving a parking ticket is anger and maybe a bit of indignance, and understandably so, the last thing anyone wants is an unexpected expense. Yet, our society is built on a system of rules and judicial enforcement to guarantee a harmonious existence.

Well, encouraging and maintaining compliance works one of two ways: you either reward everyone who follows the established order, or you penalize those who don’t. With parking, the former is just not an option, and the latter is certainly less time-intensive but expensive.

So maybe, those who receive a parking ticket should take a moment to alter their perspective. When you consider the expense of operating a police department to ensure fair treatment of all—and recognize that parking enforcement is the same concept on a narrower scale—you can forgive the city for charging you that $15 and for escalating it for non-payment.

Maintaining and Improving Infrastructure

Have you ever heard someone say, “They only gave me this damn ticket to make money!”? In reality, they’re not wrong; but the revenue gained from enforcement is not the big, bad, profit-hungry scheme many of us view it as.

The revenue from your parking tickets probably filled the pothole you could’ve popped your tire on yesterday, fixed the broken traffic light at the end of your street, or funded improvement for the schools your community’s children attend. Parking enforcement gives money back to our local governments, so they can make necessary capital improvements.

We know, it’s hard to remember this as you’re filling up a meter with coins, but your payment is helping to ensure your community’s safety, comfort, and organization.

Fueling the Local Economy

Turnover, turnover, turnover—that’s the goal for a small business in a populous city. By regulating parking, governments hope to increase patron turnover, giving more people the opportunity to enter shops, restaurants, and businesses. If a car could sit in one spot all day, others would have more difficulty finding spaces, thereby limiting the number of potential purchase-making customers for businesses.

So yeah, getting a parking ticket is a rough spot in your day. But all in all, enforcement officers (and software developers) are just trying to help keep our roads moving, our businesses thriving, and our communities happier and safer.


Interested in knowing more about what we do to help streamline parking enforcement? Check out our website at upsafety.net or contact us at sales@upsafety.net or 215.394.1906 to speak with a member of our team.