Smart Parking With A Political Twist

Sausalito, just across the Bay from SF, has replaced attendants with pay stations in four parking lots. While embedded sensors monitor vehicle activity in the lots, residents are given a tag to hang in their vehicles providing 3 hours free parking.

Sausalito's conversion to pay stations for off-street parking could provide an example for cities to overcome some local opposition to conversion from free to fee parking by the generous perk it provides to its residents. Since the purpose of the parking program is not to be a cash cow, the perk may make sense. However, the Sausalito program involves only a change of revenue collection and enforcement, not ending free parking.

"The city did not purchase the new equipment with the objective to increase revenues - instead the city is committed to ensuring that its residents and other customers are well-served by the parking managed in the public interest, and that the costs of enforcement are proportionate to parking revenues," said Jonathon Goldman, director of public works.

"Residents are allowed to park for free for up to three hours between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. but have to hang a tag in their vehicles. Out-of-towners pay $1 to $3 an hour, depending on the parking lot."

Thanks to MTC Headlines

Full Story: Sausalito's new high-tech parking makes ticket writing easier


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