Parking Ambassadors Aim To Better Parking Enforcement Reputation
Article by: Tom Wiese, Sales Associate at Passport
We get it. Parking doesn’t always get the best rep. Receiving a parking ticket is less than ideal. There always seems to be one role that gets the most negativity, parking enforcement officers. Think about it. These officers are dealing with issuing parking citations and dealing with less than happy parkers on the daily – they certainly aren’t always the bearer of positive news. But what if that stigma changed? What if parking enforcement officers had a positive reputation? It can happen.
For many cities, the implementation of parking ambassadors as a role is a newfound way to shed positive light on the role. Parking ambassadors are leveraging their new title to not only decrease the issuance of citations, but to assist residents with parking related questions and even help police identify stolen vehicles.
For the City of Victoria, the addition of parking ambassadors has significantly decreased the amount of citations issued, while managing to make up lost revenue and generate goodwill. “Parking ambassadors have helped police identify stolen vehicles, respond to infants left in cars and assist people with dementia to reconnect with their families,” said Katie Hamilton, director of citizen engagement. Victoria’s team of blue-shirted parking ambassadors have positively transformed the way their predecessors have been viewed. The new roles create a great interaction between the municipality and its residents, and helps rebrand and introduce the ambassadors in a positive light.
The City of Regina added its newest addition of patrollers to the streets, parking ambassadors. The implementation of its new parking education program hopes to deal with the negative perception of parking enforcement officers by bringing the newest fleet of ambassadors to their streets. The main goal of the ambassadors is to inform residents about parking to prevent citation issuance by handing out educational brochures. In the educational brochure, residents are able to get information on parking topics such as, meters, alleyway parking, ten ways to avoid a parking ticket, and more.
“They may get the brochure and move their car and not get a ticket. And understand that next time I shouldn’t park so close to a fire hydrant or a driveway or block an entrance,” said Michael Fougere, Mayor.
Fayetteville, AK, also introduced parking ambassadors to the city. They will be wearing different colored shirts to signify their roles and will provide residents with information on parking regulations. They will also greet visitors to the downtown area, publicize local events, and continue to enforce parking regulations.
The negative stigma associated with parking enforcement officers is beginning to change for the better. As more cities continue to add parking ambassadors to their street teams, we will continue to see positive results.