06 Aug Parking Enforcement Options
Colorado is now the second-fastest growing state in the nation, according to Census Bureau data.
From July 2014 to July 2015, Colorado’s population increased by over 100,000 people. is massive influx of people is impacting many aspects of life.
Skyrocketing real estate prices are creating the need for more people to live together to be able to afford housing. This increased density is bringing more vehicles to already crowded parking facilities. HOA Boards and management companies are under pressure to fix parking problems by the very people that are creating the problem. Social media displays negative reviews on management companies that fail to address parking problems. Property managers complain that this is a no win situation for them that is only going to get worse.
The need for parking compliance is greater than ever. Many parking problems begin with existing parking rules. Updating these rules and clearly posting them is one of the easiest ways to improve parking. Too o en the rules were written at a time when parking was plentiful both inside and around many communities. Parking rules should be clearly stated in a manner that leaves little room for confusion to allow for proper enforcement.
A number of options exist to mitigate parking problems. Some combination of these techniques are often recommended to increase parking compliance.
• assigned spaces
• automatic doors
• electronic entry controls
The problems with gates, automatic doors and electronic controls is that they do not control human behavior. e very same residents that demand these controls will sometimes justify bypassing them to allow their friends, family and visitors in. In addition, these options can be expensive, require ongoing maintenance while providing limited control.
Parking Permits present a similar issue as people will justify giving their permit to visitors, friends and family. Permits can be easily forged or purchased online to match their property permit. Every property that uses permits starts out with the best of intentions, but permits never seem to deliver the wanted results.
Patrolling, ticketing and warnings have little effect without booting and/or towing. Parking compliance is only successful when the violator is facing a penalty that is severe enough to change their behavior.
Booting is one of the most effective forms of parking enforcement. It is less expensive than towing and allows the violator access to their vehicle without having to drive to remotely located impound lots. An East High School shop teacher invented booting in Denver in the 1950’s for a Denver Police Officer to help collect parking tickets. In 2015 a remote release boot was invented eliminating several draw backs of the conventional Denver Boot. Booting is a severe enough penalty to change violators’ attitudes by preventing them from moving their vehicle.
Problems associated with booting include:
A conventional boot requires returning to remove the boot with potentially hostile people.
The vehicle remains in place.
Limited vendors—1 dedicated and 3 that provide booting in addition to their security services.
Towing allows for the implementation of a penalty by the complete removal of a vehicle. is is a necessary tool in parking enforcement, but can o en lead to many other issues. Towing is a requirement for many parking infractions such as abandoned vehicles, reworking of a parking lot, vehicles impeding traffic and other violations where only moving a vehicle will do.
Problems associated with towing include:
Vandalism and other towing related damage to the vehicle or its contents.
• Towing company storage facilities distant from location of parking infraction.
• Storage fees charged by impound lots.
• There are only 3 major towing companies and another 5
that provide private property impounds.
Proper parking enforcement begins with the ability to provide a combination of the enforcement tools available. Unfortunately, many of the problems with parking enforcement begin with the thought process of “the violator should pay for their parking violations.” is led to the rational that booting and towing should only be compensated by the revenue generated by actually booting or towing someone. To make it even more of a problem some security companies began offering “free to the property” booting services. Towing companies also began offering “free to the property patrols” all with the hopes of “getting someone” to pay for their services.
This formula does not x parking and in fact provides an incentive to do just the opposite. When a vendor is only compensated by violators there is no incentive to eliminate those violations. Especially when the security industry competes against a large number of companies that bid within pennies of each other. While the towing industry is heavily regulated by the Public Utilities Commission limiting what a company can charge including a 12- mile charge limit. These factors and the current methods are the formula for a “gotcha” mentality of the fox in the hen house. is is the major factor in all the negative issues with current parking enforcement.
In conclusion, parking problems are on the rise. e only real solution is to look at parking enforcement worthy of more than a “free” commission based service. e professional approach requires a paradigm shift . When parking compliance can be approached in a professional manner using all enforcement tools in a systematic process the results are dramatic.
Is the industry willing to change?