So what do most people do if they are in a hurry? They say ‘F’ck it’ and move on. If someone is in a hurry and they find a parking spot DTSF but don’t have any change to feed the meter (that doesn’t have a CC reader) they will probably not go looking for another spot and just risk the ticket. Maybe that is what the city is hoping for.
You can either listen or read the interview;
GRABAR: I think so. Essentially, parking enforcement serves as a subset of what is now known as revenue-driven policing. And the idea here is that cities take advantage of these parking laws to try and get as much money out of people as possible, but not in the way that you would think, right? I mean, I think this is a common misconception. Meter rates are actually, for the most part, pretty low in most cities, which is to say they are below the market clearing price that would create empty spaces on every block. Most cities make more money from illegal parking fines than they do from meters and garage taxes put together. So, for example, New York City in 2015 made $565 million in parking fines. It’s the biggest category of fines that the city issues. But they made just $200 million from parking meters.
So what’s essentially being run here – and I don’t know if cities are conscious of this – is a system that is poorly designed that almost seems like the incentives are in favor of illegal parking because for the city, that’s where they make their money.
I would have loved to been a fly on the wall when the Parking Director, Matt Nelson and Mayor TenHaken had a conversation about getting creative with raising more parking fees. Probably went something like this;
Nelson says, “Paul, we just gotta find a way to get people to park in the ramps more.”
TenHaken responds, “Thank goodness I stopped that naked Indian mural, because that certainly would have drove drivers away.”