Feature Disabled After San Jose’s ‘Smart’ Parking Meters Unexpectedly Reset, Leading To Tickets

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose’s “smart” meters have been leading to lots of unexpected tickets for drivers, and the city is making them just a little bit dumber to solve the problem.

Some of San Jose’s new ‘smart’ parking meters downtown have been resetting to zero when some heavy trucks pass, leading to tickets for drivers.

A lot of construction and heavy machinery around downtown has led to a lot of parking tickets.

San Jose lawyer Todd Rothbard has been snapping photos with his cell phone when he feeds meters outside the superior courthouse.  He had gotten three tickets in less than two weeks.

“I would have paid it if it had just been a single ticket, because it’s well more than $40 worth of time goes into presenting a case, and telling them they’ve got a problem,” Rothbard said.

San Jose did own up to the problems and have disabled the troublesome reset function on some meters. But, the city is relying on people to report the faulty tickets themselves… (more)

Too many parking tickets in SF

By David Hegarty : sfbg – excerpt

OPINION San Francisco made $87 million in parking citation revenue in 2012; roughly double what the city made off actual paid parking meter revenue.

Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s become so hard to park a car in San Francisco that its citizens are paying almost $281,500 a day simply to park, and then they’re cited for doing it wrong.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency should be responsible to the people — to create and maintain clean, orderly streets and transit systems that work for the people who use them.

The responsibility of the SFMTA is not to incentivize government agents to write more tickets and make citizens a passive revenue stream because it’s convenient. Parking citations, in their current form, do not support an ethical citizen-focused approach by the city to parking law and violations.

The simple fact that revenue gained for parking citations is roughly double that of legal, paid parking meter revenue shows an inherent flaw in the system. If it is easier for the city to make money by writing citations, why would it change its systems to create more revenue through meters or alternative means such as license fees or permitting, even if it significantly benefitted citizens of San Francisco? It makes more financial sense to incent its relatively small fleet of parking authority officers to write more tickets…

Conflicting rules and regulations between systems are also a common issue in San Francisco — often signs will contradict themselves or other SFMTA systems, with no clear indication of which rules precede the others. Meters are inconsistent with other regulatory systems in use, permanent parking restriction signs are sometimes missing, hidden, or poorly maintained, and temporary restrictions are often inaccurate — creating grossly unfair conditions for people parking, and incorrectly written tickets by parking enforcement officers…

Ethical parking law would be a clear, mutually fair system which benefits citizens of San Francisco, creates revenue for the city through legal, noncriminal means, and enables a parking environment where citizens can easily follow the rules. Parking law should be optimized for clean, orderly streets and transit programs that are profitable and reliable — instead of convenient revenue.

There must be another way to achieve SFMTA budget requirements than to make the people this government agency should be serving into unintentional criminals.

David Hegarty is the founder of Fixed (www.getfixed.me), a company that helps customers contest parking tickets… (more)

Jersey City moves toward closing parking authority

AP : sfgate – excerpt

Jersey City is moving closer to realizing Mayor Steven Fulop’s goal of abolishing the city’s autonomous parking authority.

Fulop announced Friday that New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission has granted his request to have parking authority employees given civil service status.

The approval allows the city to move forward with its plan to abolish the authority and have its functions absorbed by other departments.

Fulop plans to present an ordinance to the City Council on Sept. 10.

The parking authority’s enforcement functions would come under the Department of Public Safety, while administrative functions would be handled by city staff who already perform these duties.

Fulop says the dissolution of the parking authority will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

(more)

There’s an idea on how to save Muni money. Abolish the SFMTA by repealing Prop E. What voters create they can dismantle.