Stick to the system Chuck? I was 5th in line when the place had just open for dinner that day. And my wife who just had back surgery sat down at a table and they asked her to move. Even after she allerted them to the fact she had just had surgery and pointed that I was the next person in line. Rude people. I would think CL which I have read for years would no longer endorse this place after such rampant stories like this. The manager had the audacity to say we can't discriminate against the rest of the customers just because your wife has a bad back. If that is his logic then there should no longer be handicap parking or hand rails in public restrooms.
To Midtowner, this isn't about someone blocking a driveway and receiving a ticket. This is about our governing body giving quasi-police powers to a private corporation. I use the term quasi because I was at the City Council meeting today, and I don't believe that anyone left it with a great grasp on how ParkAtlanta can even legally issue citations. Apparently under current thought that these spaces are leased and there are only 3 cases in which ParkAtlanta employees can issue tickets. Expired meter, overtime parking and one other. I can't recall specifically what the other was but it was of the same nature. No worries, ParkAtlanta has APD officers working for them as well. These officers can be seen in PartAtlanta vehicles nearly as often as other ParkAtlanta employees. They are the ones who then issue tickets for ParkAtlanta on your tickets that by ordinance must be issued by a sworn officer.
The real story is that Atlanta is paid 5.5 million a year for the right to do this to its citizens. Easy money right? No cost to the citizens? Wrong, if a ticketed person happens to dispute a ticket and demand their day in court. The burden is not on ParkAtlanta, instead that burden falls squarely on the City Solicitor's Office. They have to schedule the cases, track down the ParkAtlanta employee who issued the ticket and finally hope they show up. Since ParkAtlanta the amount of disputed tickets has more than tripled.
There is no recourse to ParkAtlanta because their profit is purely based on how fast they can write tickets. Because the city signed a contract for a flat fee there is no variable component. More tickets = More Disputes=More Resources required of the courts, solicitors. The more tickets they write the more Atlanta loses. Because ParkAtlanta doesnt have to chase you down they have an economic incentive to be lax with the rules. There are multiple places downtown where signs are conflicting. And in these cases of course ParkAtlanta is going to issue a ticket. I dont know the figures but I think it goes without question in saying the vast majority of people just pay the ticket and never dispute it. Who really can afford to take a day off of work and go to court over a $20 ticket? For ParkAtlanta it is a license to print money. Think of this in a broader scope. This company has no real customers(outside of the city itself). They dont have to market their goods and services. They dont have to compete for another 7 years. All they have to do is right as many tickets as possible. It is a perfect business. Their growth is capped only by time and the total number of spaces..
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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