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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“Robocop” tested north of here
Back when Fredericksburg was debating the sense of spending $100,000 on an automated parking enforcement system and a car to put it on, some people said this high-tech help seemed more appropriate for a larger city.
"The District’s Department of Public Works is evaluating several systems that would enable parking officers to swing quickly through a neighborhood with a license plate reader or similar technology to catch violators.
The city already uses such tools to check for scofflaws, but now it wants to focus, in part, on commuters who occupy downtown parking places intended for shoppers."
While Fredericksburg has a 40-block Historic District and a few other neighborhoods surrounding it where parking is a concern, the Post story states that, "The District — where a search for street parking can have the intensity of a demolition derby — has about 16,000 parking meters and about 4,100 blocks of residential parking permit zones, according to Karyn LeBlanc, spokeswoman for the D.C. Transportation Department."
City police recently reported on AutoChalk’s effectiveness, though, and they’ve said the expense was worth it. From a story Jonas Beals recently wrote about AutoChalk’s performance between August and November:
"In that timeframe, the total number of parking tickets issued increased 19 percent over the same period in 2006. AutoChalk alone was responsible for issuing 1,889 parking tickets during those months, worth $10,030.
Chief of Police David Nye contends that autoChalk’s ability to monitor the streets more effectively has freed enforcement officers to write more tickets by hand, and concentrate on areas that autoChalk can’t serve. Handwritten tickets in the train station district of the city were up 63.5 percent over 2006.
In 2006, two parking enforcement officers served Fredericksburg–both on foot, and both concentrating on the Caroline and Princess Anne Street corridors. When autoChalk was implemented, the number of enforcement officers increased to three. The third officer is paid for, in part, by the University of Mary Washington to patrol the College Heights area."