Posted by: Gregory | June 2, 2015

Logging parking complaints

Many of my posts start off with a real story, which I try to turn into a lesson or something that can be improved on. This one starts just over a week ago with my son in the buggy, heading down Hall Street.

[tweet https://twitter.com/sustwelltrans/status/602231757040037888]

Maybe it’s my imagination, but I’m noticing a lot more vehicles parking on footpaths than before. It could be confirmation bias or it could be the WCC parking policy getting announced all over the media.

As the twitter conversation went on, we looked at how people can complain about people parking on the footpaths. Currently, a phone call is the only way to report a specific instance of a parking complaint.

[tweet https://twitter.com/WgtnCC/status/602390816015851520]

I was offered to switch from twitter to email, which allowed for a more continuous, complete answer. Many thanks to Emma for doing so.

Currently, the reason we ask to be phoned for parking complaints is to ensure the illegal parking is occurring at the time. We have a maximum of 24 hours to respond to emails and we can’t guarantee an immediate response via Twitter, and our policy is that we won’t deploy officers to site unless we are certain the vehicle is currently illegally parked. This is why we encourage people to ring the 24 hour number for all urgent and time sensitive issues.

In saying that, if the parking complaint is not regarding a particular vehicle and is more a request for regular enforcement in general, this can be logged via social media channels.

I can understand the problem of deploying parking services without confirmation that the infringing vehicle is there. The problem seems to be the resources being put into collecting the information and translating it to an action. Phone calls occur in real time while messages are delayed by some amount of time, even if that amount is small. It would be possible to monitor email and social media to keep delays down, but currently they aren’t.

We are committed to being as accessible as possible. Our current systems are being updated and we hope to be able to provide a user friendly digital service very soon.

user friendly digital service could mean many different things. Whether that be monitoring of messages or maintaining an app or mapping service, we’ll only know after something happens. Wellington City Council already maintains the FixIt app. It would be great to merge that with something like TowIt. (Android links. Apologies to iPhone types.)

You can be sure that if app-based parking complaints to WCC were possible, I’d be a serial complainer. There’s no shortage of parking violations around the city. We could even turn it into a game. I’m sure I could find a few other urban-minded folk to play along with me.

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Responses

  1. Internet searching reveals quite a few “apps” that help with this e.g. TowIt.

    • Generating the report is pretty easy for an app, but it needs to be acted on to be useful. FixIt has enough information in a report to do the same thing, but since it generates an electronic report, it can’t currently be used to deploy a parking officer.

  2. What’s wrong with the way the truck is partially parked on the footpath? There is enough room to get a buggy past comfortably, and looking at the photo, it doesn’t look like there were any available carparks, the truck driver was considerate to both motorists and the pedestrains so why the need for a parking officer?

    • Um. It’s illegally parked. The street isn’t narrow and I don’t buy the argument that we should be slack on crap parking so cars can steal space from pedestrians.


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