Lessons from Seattle: How Signage Reduces Parking Fines

| September 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

from MySecuritySign.com

Signs like these make parking regulations clear and easy to follow .

September 10, 2012 — In Seattle, a private parking company was recently fined $55,000 for issuing misleading parking tickets to unsuspecting citizens.  These signs promise a flexible and feasible appeals process, which, as Assistant Attorney General Jake Bernstein points out, “is murky at best.”

Platinum Parking LLC, which contracts out to businesses seeking to secure their private parking lots, has been profiting from these misleading tickets for some time, and will be fined accordingly. However, $25,000 of those penalties and legal fees could be suspended if the company clarifies language around parking enforcement procedures and appeal processes for future tickets.

Custom parking lot signage

Encourage off-street parking easily with this customizable sign .

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, a contractor for the University of Massachusetts towed 132 cars over Labor Day weekend.  The parking snafu resulted in over $19,000 in tickets and towing expenses for students on move-in day. The university will reimburse students over $15,000, and waive ticket penalties.

U of M spokesperson Edward F. Blaguszewski said, “We took an action that we shouldn’t have – towing that many cars,” and promised clearer parking restrictions next year.

Signage is increasingly becoming the go-to method for better parking.  In Windsor, Colorado,  the City Council has been brainstorming ways to open up spots downtown and encourage off-street parking. Ideas include extra signage for special events, and courtesy cards that business owners can offer customers toward designated parking areas.  The parking is there, but, as city consultant Nick Vanderkwaak told The Coloradoan, “Perception is very key” – and that’s where parking signs come in.

Custom store parking sign

Don’t know Lou? Just ease on down the road to another parking space .

With prices for spaces in downtown and private parking lots on the rise, it is increasingly important to protect the consumer’s interests with more and clearer signage. A few well-placed signs  can optimize parking, and make ticketing and towing fines more fair – and no one wastes any time in court defending a half-baked attempt to increase the bottom line.

–  L. Dowda

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