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PARKatlanta Welcomes Florida Visitor With Parking Ticket

Problem: Motorist says there's no sign, hydrant or painted curb prohibiting parking.

Editor's note: Atlanta motorists are no strangers to the ongoing drama that is PARKatlanta, the firm contracted by the city of Atlanta to enforce parking codes. The company has been under fire for its enforcement policies leading to scores of complaints to Atlanta City Council members, including Kwanza Hall, whose district includes the Old Fourth Ward, parts of Little Five Points and Midtown. On Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the Atlanta City Council enacted changes in its contract with PARKatlanta. Among them: blocking the writing of tickets when signs are missing or meters are broken.

The changes could prevent the situation a recent out-of-town visitor experienced Nov. 17 in Hall's district. That visitor, Chip Leister, who comes from South Florida, wrote a letter to city officials to express his frustration at getting a ticket on a street where he said there were no signs prohibiting parking. He shared his letter with East Atlanta Patch. Meanwhile, Hall's office said it is investigating.

Dear Angela and Benita:

I know you get complaints daily, if not hourly from Atlantans/visitors about your "rogue" hired parking firm, PARKatlanta. What is comical is that they get to keep all revenues over $5.5 million. So, if I were them, I would write tickets until the world ran out of ink and paper.

And for no reason, because most folks pay the $25 instead of fighting it, I have attached a couple photos of the ticket I got from visiting a neighborhood off the Georgia Tech campus on a gameday.

Not only was there no sign, but no yellow curb or fire hydrant. Nor did the ticketing moron capture a photo of my vehicle with a sign there for proof that there is/was a sign there for one to obey. So I took some photos for you to reveiw — and ask that you view my citation online — parkatlanta.org and citation No. 304398286. Vehicle tag ja4IX.

The photo the ticketing moron took was of my vehicle but no sign around.   Please also visit the corner to Atlantic Drive NW and Home Park Drive NW — on the northeast side of this intersection is where I parked, behind another car at the large tree.

If there was a sign from the corner to the first large tree right on the road — I would gladly pay the fine. But the fact is, there is not a sign there. I also ask that you go there in person and see for yourself. Or please visit the link below from Google Earth and see there is no sign there and idea of where I parked.

This has got to stop. Please forward this to your management about another unhappy visitor to downtown Atlanta.

I have appealed this ticket online through Atlanta Municipal court, and expect to be dismissed of this ticket.  Please let me know what else I can do to help stop this nonsense.

— Chip Leister

DrZaius November 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
LIke JustinK says, he missed all the permit only signs somehow. ParkAtlanta probably got this one correct.
donald November 20, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I think the bigger problem with park atlanta is not that they aggressively enforce parking laws but that the City decided to stop serving it's citizens needs and rather is looking for additional tools to extract more money from us in the form of fines and parking revenue. The city needs to refocus it's effort on serving it's citizens rather than looking for underhanded ways to collect more money from us. They are supposed to be working for us. I thought we were paying them to help make our lives better?
JustinK November 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Parking enforcement no matter how reviled is a vital part of functioning in a city. As density goes up, so does demand for parking at all times. You have tons of competing interests for finite real estate dedicated to parking and you have to aggressively raise the cost for people who don't adhere to the rules in order to have parking available to the interests deemed most important for that area. In residential areas, it's for the residents, and in commercial districts it's for the patrons of those businesses. Not requiring permits in that area (adjacent to a college campus where parking passes are $500+/yr and hard to come by) would result in absolute bedlam as undergrads clog up side streets w/ cars they use only rarely. The same goes for parking in front of mixed use districts where businesses are dependent on people being able to drop in quickly to shop but very expensive to park for extended periods. ParkAtlanta definitely ratcheted up the game of ticketing the crap out of people but the city run system was far more lax in enforcement(leading to tons of illegal parking) and still had massive overruns in costs. The city certainly should ask for improved signage and improvements in some zoning but parking has huge external costs and those should be addressed w/ proper billing systems and ticketing when required.
Ken Boff November 21, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Same thing happened to me in L5P. No signage, parking kiosk covered with flyers and graffiti. I was in Outback Bikes for about two minutes, long enough to buy a tube. When I came out, a PARKAtlanta guy was writing me a ticket. I appealed to PARKAtlanta, but they wrote and said I had to appeal to the City of Atlanta, which I did. I paid the fine to avoid the escalating fees of paying late. Weeks later I got a letter from the City of Atlanta saying that my case would be heard...in February 2013.
Tim November 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Welcome to for profit, privatized government services...hopefully the city can get it right next time.

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