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Friday, June 22, 2012

Parking Enforcement and the bigger picture

Sent to The Mayor and his representatives and City Council on
June 22

Sec. 106-215
No person may
Park cars or other vehicles on the sidewalk,
including the strip between the property line and the street curbing, (emphasis mine!)
without written permission of the parkway and park commission;

There is a law. At least we've cleared that up.
We do have a division of city government (which is not NOPD) that can and has quite effectively enforced parking regulations
(Jazzfest, Crescent City Classic to name a few).
The question still unanswered and on the table is what will it take to have this same arm of city government
respond to citizen complaints and enforce the law and minimally ticket the offenders?
Just this small act of ticketing the vehicle begins the education of the populace. Word of mouth works wonders.
Oh and, dare I remind all, can be a revenue generator.

Lest anyone think that we are simply being petty and have lost our ability to live and let live in this laissez faire city,
Have you watched the old lady in the walker or the guy with the cane, or the parent with the child in the stroller
have to make their way from the sidewalk to the street because of a parked car?
We "sell" (yes Mitch SELL) New Orleans as being a city of neighborhoods..... WALKABLE neighborhoods,
except you have to walk in the street.
For all new construction of corners for sidewalks the city is required by law to build wheelchair ramps
(why with huge tripping hazard bumps that I can barely manage, heaven help the lady with the walker or the guy with the cane, or the parent with a stroller)
and then these ramps are used like driveways so that people can park their vehicles on the sidewalk.

But there is still more.
Parking on the sidewalk and rolling over those horrible rollover curbs BREAKS the infrastructure,
the very precious, expensive to repair and replace infrastructure.
And I am NOT just talking about the curbs and the sidewalks.
I can and have sent pictures showing how illegal parking (as defined by law noted at the start of this note)
has resulted in broken Sewerage and Water Board infrastructure (the 8300 Block of Apricot has been for almost a year and continues to be a lovely example).
This broken infrastructure takes our tax dollars and increased S&W costs to repair.
And we all know about the state of the budgets of the city and S&W.
But there is still MORE.
Parking on the front lawn or the green space between the sidewalk and the street often results in this "green space" becoming paved space.
Did anyone listen when we had the Dutch Dialogues? Anyone? I know I did.
We are paving paradise. We are paving the very ground that can soak up the rain water, easing flooding risks and
provide places to plant trees that can help with the heat island affect and soak up the C02 that will only make the sea level rise higher and faster.
All these things are connected.
And there is a law on the books that allows an arm of the city to ticket and tow if necessary.
Why can't the city see that all these things are connected? Why can't the city enforce the laws, generate revenue in the process,
prevent damage to expensive to replace infrastructure, support COMPLETE STREETS which provide for walkable neighborhoods, help prevent flooding
and ..... well I think you get the picture.
It isn't going to solve world hunger of give us world peace.... but it is a SMART! long term approach to a solvable problem and that's a start.
Please consider allowing the same "city forces" that enforce parking regulation during special events to respond to citizen complaints regarding
repeat and blantant parking violations.
Yes this note is dripping in sarcasm. But like many who rallied to ensure that New Orleans rebounded from the PostKatrina levee failures
I have made calls to the Quality of Life Officer, asked for parking enforcement from Public Works, taken pictures of repeatedly reported S&W damage,
called Safety & Permits when illegal paving of entire front yards was taking place and put flyers on cars with the parking laws as communicated
to us by the NOPD...... and I'm not seeing things getting any better.
This solvable problem deserves more serious attention than the city as given it to this point.
Jenel Hazlett
8306 Pritchard Place
New Orleans, LA 70118

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