What’s Your Vision for Parking Enforcement?

Parking enforcement is an important government function. It contributes to public satisfaction and safety by reducing traffic congestion, triggering parking turnover, and ensuring access. A good parking enforcement program also creates revenue. In addition to being self-sustaining, a well-managed program may also be a funding source for other government services.

These goals are within reach when a parking enforcement program is carried out vigorously, efficiently and fairly. Sensible parking regulations provide the foundation. Ticket issuance adds the incentive for drivers to comply with regulations. When violations occur, ticket issuance is most effective when violators respect the system and comply with payment and appearance dates. The effectiveness of ticket issuance declines as violators fail to pay fines or disregard the judicial process, because revenues decline and staff resources are drained.

Here are five key components for an effective program, especially when staffing is lean:

  • Strong leadership and commitment
  • Good policies and procedures
  • Efficient workflows
  • Outsourcing options
  • Comprehensive technology

How can a small government entity begin to make needed changes? First, know the field and the options out there. Publish an RFI to request information or an RFP to request proposals. Be sure to ask about costs and timeframes for implementation. Next, consider how your current approach compares and whether it is taking you in the right direction. Does it put a strain on staff resources? Finally, take some action.

Settling for mediocre systems and workflows can jeopardize compliance, revenue, and public satisfaction and safety. Today, with tight budgets and high public expectations, expect the best from vendors and technology. Achieving the vision of an effective parking enforcement program is a win for both government leaders and citizens.