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Do-Not-Tow List

Make back-alleys even happier places.
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In the alleys behind residential streets in the city, the parking situation tends to get chaotic. The owner/tenant has the right to spaces in front of and beside their own garage, but people who want to park in the area and don't want to pay for a lot often pull in wherever they can. The traditional way of dealing with such people is to post store-bought 'No Parking' signs and leave nasty notes full of idle threats under the wipers of repeat offenders.

The do-not-tow list is simply a list of license plate numbers posted over each such space. The city would issue (possibly for a fee) a secure clear-plastic case, a key to the case, and a stack of blank lists. The owner/tenant would mount the list over their space and would have the ability to easily modify, replace or remove the list if they had a new or rented car or a desired guest or didn't know exactly who or what they were expecting.

Towing companies would have the right to tow and impound any cars not on the list. Tow-truck drivers on-duty but without an immediate job would occasionally check the alleys hoping to do some towing. (Ideally, they'd park on a main street and walk the alleys to more easily check lists and plates.)

The scheme would be opt-in. Spaces where no list at all is posted would continue to operate under the old system.

This would be less appealing to people with proper driveways, though it might have applications there, too.

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The scheme's advantage over high-tech solutions is that it's low-tech, low-cost, easily used, easily understood, easily adjusted, easily fixed.

Its advantage over traditional sticker and other systems are that it: 1) requires no ongoing administration or centralized data management and 2) does not require any tokens on the cars that will park -- if someone is coming to visit, you can't have them put a special sticker on their car, but you can add an entry to your list or temporarily take it down altogether.

If securely affixed and locked, the lists would be difficult to change or remove illegally. It would be possible for a rogue parker to carry a can of black spray paint with them, but most aren't that evil and the problem would not, anyway, be any greater than with traditional parking signs. (Anyone doing such a thing risks additional penalties if the rightful parker finds them there with the sign blacked out and does some simple deducing.)

Monkfish, Dec 15 2002

Residential Parking Permit http://www.newport-...tm#PARKING%20PERMIT
Newport News, Virginia, USA [phoenix, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

This could help with this problem http://news.bbc.co....england/2565109.stm
[Gordon Comstock, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I like this idea, but why not get rid of the whole need for a key and make it a flipper board like the ones used at high school lacross games? then it could be run through a web-site, the charges for the listing service would then be sent to the person placing the listing.
futurebird, Dec 15 2002
  

       Hmm, nice idea. I hate to knock it down, but I think towing companies would object if they had to cross reference the number plate to each listed car for the space. They wold get less towing done, so less revenue, so would need to be paid a fortune to work with the scheme.   

       From the towing company's point of view, they'd probably just ignore any space with a notice next to it. Still, no fishbone, cos I like the concept.
bagel, Dec 15 2002
  

       Like it - very original idea and a simple solution to a very widespread problem. I sorta agree with bagel, though - it tends toward lost revenue for the towing companies, so will probably go unheeded.   

       Having said that, other companies might spring up, fighting the cause of "listed towees", claiming their pound fees back.   

       A whole new economic sector is born! Hallelujah!
CheeseFilteredCigarette, Dec 15 2002
  

       Thanks. Well, the idea is that the towing companies get to prowl around like they do for any other illegally parked cars and make their money from impound fees. They wouldn't be compelled to do it.   

       It's true that having to check each car's license number would be a pain. Maybe the impound charges could be higher or towing companies could pay bounties or employ lower-cost operatives on foot to check around.   

       It would certainly be a leaner diet than major streets at the beginning of rush hour, but they've got to spend the afternoons somewhere. And it's possible that people would call in the trucks themselves, since there would be no cost to the home occupant and no difficulty in demonstrating that the car really _is_ parked illegally.   

       Anyway, it's not necessary to tow even a large proportion of the cars. It might be enough for people to know there's a genuine risk and to get used to the idea that it's not a parking free-for-all.
Monkfish, Dec 15 2002
  

       Baked - after a fashion. My city has several areas called RPP (Residential Parking Permit) areas. Vehicles not displaying a sticker for the area are allowed to park for a maximum of 2 hours after which they are towed. The sad part is that it costs me $5 a year to keep other people (specifically local shipyard employees) off my street.
phoenix, Dec 16 2002
  

       Yes, I think we have those here, too. But this is a stickerless idea for controlling access to specific private spaces.
Monkfish, Dec 16 2002
  

       You could have a short range transponder on the car. An induction loop in the kerb detects a car parked and if the correct transponder code isn't returned, it lights a neon sign saying "TOW THIS CAR!"
FloridaManatee, Feb 27 2003
  

       I work for the parking department in a borough council in central London and would like to add my tuppence-worth.   

       If the land is privately owned (ie. not the highway), the land owner can clamp or remove any vehicle that parks on his/her land without their permission. Appropriate warning signs must be displayed to warn the motorist of this possibility. Private companies are usually contracted to perform the clamping/removal. Clamp/removal is initiated by the land owner calling out the contractor.   

       If the land is on the public highway, the council or metropolitan police (in London) can penalise/clamp/remove a vehicle that is parked in contravention of the local parking regulations. As with most public sector departments, this activity is often contracted out. Revenues from this activity are split between the contractor and the borough council or police force. Regular patrols of parking attendants or traffic wardens accomplish this.   

       Central London is mainly covered by Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). Within these CPZs, roads are restricted in various ways. Some areas have yellow lines to prevent parking in dangerous or busy roads, some have short-stay “pay & display” areas to facilitate visitor parking, and some areas have designated usage bays such as “residents only”, “doctors only” and “disabled only”. Permits for the designated usage bays are available from the council and must be displayed in the vehicle to prevent a penalty/clamp/remove. Certain permits are chargeable (such as residents permits - £50-100 depending on which borough).   

       This constitutes an adequate method of providing parking in a very busy city for those who need it and penalising those who use a space reserved for a different group. Residents can park near their home, visitors can pay and park, emergency vehicles and people with disabilities have a choice of strategically placed spaces.   

       In summary, if the land is private, such a scheme described by Monkfish would work, but it is doubtful that the council would be involved. A private company may wish to offer this to the land owner as an extension of a normal contract. If the land is public highway, this type of scheme is already in use (using permits displayed in vehicles).   

       With the future development of hand-held technology, it will be possible to electronically bulk-record vehicle registration numbers on site (ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Reader – software to recognise characters in an image and convert them to text) and compare these to a database of permitted vehicles. This will make the kind of operation you propose efficient and viable.   

       For anybody who has actually managed to read to the end of this annotation – sorry for the ramble, but it’s not often I get to talk to people about this kind of thing. Maybe I need to get out more…..
Mayfly, Feb 27 2003
  
      
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