This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Food for thought on the “parking robot”
We’ll have a story in Sunday’s paper on the various reactions to the AutoChalk parking technology council members are considering buying. To accompany that, here are a few notes on what’s been happening since the council delayed its decision two weeks ago.
- City Manager Phillip Rodenberg and Assistant City Manager Beverly Cameron have written a four-page memo responding to concerns about AutoChalk. Read it here.
- Before their 6 p.m. work session on Tuesday (a sit-down with the School Board on the budget), council members will have the opportunity to ride a vehicle equipped with the AutoChalk technology. Bill Franklin, president of Tannery Creek, the firm that makes the technology, will be running the demo. (The Free Lance-Star rode along while the police department was testing the equipment back in January. Read about it, and see pictures of the system here.)
- As the discussion has gone on, downtown business owner Kyle Snyder has urged council members to look at some less expensive technology that Harrisonburg is testing to enforce parking. (Their local paper wrote about it here.) These are handheld units that can read license plates, and would be used by officers on foot. Rodenberg said the city looked at this, but concluded it would be hard to read license plates on cars packed end-to-end on the street. He also said handhelds would probably have to be accompanied by new staff, something the city doesn’t plan to add if it buys AutoChalk.