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DDA details new parking proposal

Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 12:58 PM
Last updated 11:06 PM
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A new parking enforcement plan detailed by Downtown Development Authority Director Margaret Woodard would implant thousands of electronic discs underground at parking spaces to monitor visitors' comings and goings.

In this January 2010 photo, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy writes a parking ticket on Broad Street  Augusta Chronicle file
Augusta Chronicle file
In this January 2010 photo, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy writes a parking ticket on Broad Street

Woodard presented the plan to Augusta commissioners this morning during a work session. 

In the proposal, the DDA would pay $300,000 per year to a company called Streetsmart for the monitoring technology, plus 14 percent of collections on an estimated 31,000 tickets issued to a collections company.

The DDA also would utilize Service Group Inc., the company it uses for downtown CADI cleaning and safety services, to manage a crew of seven people to run the program, Woodard said.

The proposal also includes a revised parking ordinance that adds an adjudication process for violators.

"What if people obey the law?" Commissioner Joe Bowles asked Woodard.

Projected income from the program of $885,937 just covered expenses, in a handout Woodard provided.

"We'll tweak it," she said.

The program will ease the burden on Richmond County Sheriff's deputies of issuing tickets, but it also could utilize off-duty deputies in one of seven positions created, Woodard said.

Currently, businesses interested in moving downtown are turned off by the unavailability of parking spaces, she said.

The system will provide immediate data about space usage, said DDA Board Member Sanford Loyd, who serves on the board's parking committee.

The DDA also is working with the owners of private lots downtown to potentially use the spaces for downtown residents and employees, Woodard said.

The program also would begin with a three-month public awareness campaign and a two-week period where only warnings are issued, Woodard said.

The sheriff's office supports the proposal if it has commission support, Capt. Scott Gay said.

Robert Cizek with Streetsmart said his technology was in use all over the United States, and was most prevalent in San Francisco, where some 8,000 of the units are installed.

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onlysane1left
223
Points
onlysane1left 01/24/11 - 01:29 pm
0
0
Is downtown parking really

Is downtown parking really this bad to spend almost $900,000? And when you put the program into place, will there be enough offenders to make it pay for itself EVERY year? Dumb move!

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/24/11 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Name one business that won't

Name one business that won't move downtown because of a mythical lack of parking and I can name five current downtown businesses that oppose ticketing customers. But, the DDA won't name businesses because there are none.

One question: Does it make sense?

1. There is no parking problem.

2. There is a conflict of interest with anyone issuing tickets and directly benefiting from the money raised.

3. If, emphasis on the "if", there is a parking problem. You could pay a team of seven people to work around the clock at $40,000 a piece and save more than $600,000 than digging up holes and planting electronic sensors in the street.

Please tell me the commission isn't this gullible.

Sweet Tooth
2
Points
Sweet Tooth 01/24/11 - 01:50 pm
0
0
Why don't we just contract

Why don't we just contract the Richmond County Sheriff's Department's entire duties to a company like Black Water?

"The Sheriff's Office supports the proposal if it has commission support, Capt. Scott Gay said."

What a cop-out!

noway
201
Points
noway 01/24/11 - 01:51 pm
0
0
I don't understand why they

I don't understand why they won't do away with the parking spaces that are "marked out" with Xs on Broad Street. Downtown would gain a huge number of parking spaces by just adding those. I believe that number was revealed in the parking study, that is being ignored. Stupid to spend all of that money on parking program that you have to ticket people to keep. Ridiculous.

DAMY46
0
Points
DAMY46 01/24/11 - 02:45 pm
0
0
Ms. Woodard and the DDA

Ms. Woodard and the DDA 'gang' are a joke.

oneofthefrontrowgang
0
Points
oneofthefrontrowgang 01/24/11 - 03:15 pm
0
0
REQUIRE ALL EMPLOYEES OF

REQUIRE ALL EMPLOYEES OF DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES NOT TO PARK ON BROAD STREET AND THERE WILL BE PLENTY ON SPACES FOR CUSTOMERS. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

paulwheeler
137
Points
paulwheeler 01/24/11 - 03:38 pm
0
0
Dear Fred, While you are

Dear Fred,
While you are cutting budgets, please remove all Richmond County taxpayer funds from this authority's budget. Hopefully it will dry up and go away

Clux99
0
Points
Clux99 01/24/11 - 03:41 pm
0
0
So this is basically the same

So this is basically the same thing as parking meters amirite?

How about spending those hundreds of thousands of dollars on actually improving downtown. Plant some flowers, repave a pothole, buy a dilapidated structure and tear it down.

There's no parking problem! Sure, at some peak times you might actually have to walk a block or two, but I have NEVER been unable to find a parking space on Broad that was ever more than 2 blocks from my destination.

countyman
21687
Points
countyman 01/24/11 - 04:04 pm
0
0
Since the creation of the

Since the creation of the succesful CADI program.. I'm willing to hear the DDA out before I decide..

The sheriff's office being behind the proposal is a good start.. I think it will free up the police to handle ''real'' crime issues instead of parking tickets..

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/24/11 - 04:43 pm
0
0
Here's my

Here's my counter-proposal...

Pay me $500,000 to issue tickets. Save the other $400,000. Call a press conference and call the program a success for making a $400,000 profit.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 01/24/11 - 05:01 pm
0
0
Another stupid, wasteful move

Another stupid, wasteful move that wont do a thing to revitalize Broad St. Ive been watching this type of guesswork for 40 yrs and seen NOTHING to stop the economic bleeding. And just what does "tweaking" mean after the contracts are signed? You cant call it a speed trap so how about a "fine trap". Does Ms Woodard have a degree in traffic engineering or business economics?

fdn315
2
Points
fdn315 01/24/11 - 05:01 pm
0
0
The only time there's a

The only time there's a problem with downtown parking is when there are major events but between the board of education parking deck and the new parking deck for the tee center parking definitely shouldnt be an issue.
If your goal is to bring more businesses downtown why would you put things in place to run away potential consumers?

TCB22
694
Points
TCB22 01/24/11 - 05:50 pm
0
0
What is the proposed parking

What is the proposed parking time limit? Am I just overlooking it in the article? If it is still the two hours they talked about, that is not long enough to take care of business. Please, just install a freakin' toll booth at both ends of Broad Street to raise funds and dump this lousy plan. Who in their right mind would approve such a horrible proposal?

iletuknow
8
Points
iletuknow 01/24/11 - 06:20 pm
0
0
Thought: Is gouging visitors

Thought: Is gouging visitors to downtown collecting parking fees more lucrative than sales tax revenues/licenses generated by the businesses?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/24/11 - 06:20 pm
0
0
"We'll tweak it" if people

"We'll tweak it" if people obey the law and don't incur a fine? How's that again?

Who the heck is this lady? She doesn't sound like someone who has a clue.

Why not hire some meter maids, give them golf carts, and let them chalk people's tires? It works very, very well. Even if we paid them decent salaries, the city still would do way better than just break even.

This is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever read. Not only is there no parking problem, only an idiot would think doing something so complex and expensive is an option when a simple solution is available, easily implemented and completely adaptable to any genuine need.

Can't we do better than this? Surely someone in public service can come up with a reasonable plan based on reality. Annoying the public and wasting the public's money when it's so tight certainly isn't the way to go about it.

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/24/11 - 06:22 pm
0
0
This is like having a total

This is like having a total goober show up to hunt squirrels with a bazooka.

I can just hear the laughter down there.

raul
5778
Points
raul 01/24/11 - 06:49 pm
0
0
Somebody should abolish Ms.

Somebody should abolish Ms. Woodward's job. This is ridiculous. Fiat_Lux, you are spot on with your comments.

tigerpaw80
0
Points
tigerpaw80 01/24/11 - 06:55 pm
0
0
Just another way for Woodard

Just another way for Woodard to try to justify her $100,000 salary.

Boogaloo
1
Points
Boogaloo 01/24/11 - 07:29 pm
0
0
Folks, this isn't about the

Folks, this isn't about the current parking problem, which does not even exist. This is about the future parking problem that will happen when the TEE center and Krocsville get cranking. Don't you know Augusta is going to become the "go to" place when these projects get finished? Already the Tee Center is lined up to host the "Vintage Candy Wrapper" convention and "Fun With A Gun" seminar.

countyman
21687
Points
countyman 01/24/11 - 08:07 pm
0
0
The Augusta Marriott Hotel &

The Augusta Marriott Hotel & Convention Center booked it's first event 2 months after breaking ground..

Marriott sent out a press release on August 13th, 2010... The two headlines read:

''Marriott Takes Event Planning in Augusta, GA to New Level''

''New Construction to Result in Complete Convention Service Under One Roof''

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Marriott-Takes-Event-Planning-in...

The Kroc Center in Harrisburg will attract residents, residential, businesses, and several thousands of members...

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 01/24/11 - 08:27 pm
0
0
Maybe we could install

Maybe we could install electronic chips in the seats of the chairs that DDA uses to do their thinking. If they are for detecting a good idea my bet is they will never go off.

raul
5778
Points
raul 01/24/11 - 08:49 pm
0
0
@walrus4ever. LOL. good

@walrus4ever. LOL. good one!

@countryman. The Kroc Center will be a big bust. IMHO.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/24/11 - 09:09 pm
0
0
At least, Ms. Woodard was

At least, Ms. Woodard was honest. The title of her report read:

"The most expensive way to solve a non-existent problem"

raul
5778
Points
raul 01/24/11 - 09:35 pm
0
0
@ countryman. "The sheriff's

@ countryman. "The sheriff's office being behind the proposal is a good start.. I think it will free up the police to handle ''real'' crime issues instead of parking tickets"

Are police officers currently utilized to issue parking tickets downtown? IF so, they need to be freed up now, to handle real crime issues. Especially in light of furloughs and budget cuts.

countyman
21687
Points
countyman 01/24/11 - 10:07 pm
0
0
Raul... Every where Kroc

Raul... Every where Kroc Centers have located the surroudning property values have risen... The Augusta Kroc Center will have several thousands of members... There is a 5 acre park on the canal, Eve street row(six renovated houses), First Stop Village(seven renovate houses0, First Stop Center, etc coming with the Kroc Center...

Don't forget Clay Boardman is renovated the Martha Lester school(residential/commercial) and behind the Broad Mill Village(six mill duplexes)...

The Sibley Mill will evenutally be sold to a private developer...

raul
5778
Points
raul 01/24/11 - 10:55 pm
0
0
@countryman. I hope you are

@countryman. I hope you are right about Kroc Centers. I just don't see many people utilizing it other than those in the immediate area. Time will tell.

albertoli
191
Points
albertoli 01/24/11 - 11:12 pm
0
0
instead of $300k per year and

instead of $300k per year and 14% to an outside company, why not hire all of the people about to be "downsized" out of the city's payroll to walk the streets and write parking tickets? it will be a zero sum gain, but it will employ the recently unemployed, instead of the money going out of town. while they are at it, take away her new age tech magazines.

countyman
21687
Points
countyman 01/24/11 - 11:57 pm
0
0
Raul.. The YMCA in West

Raul.. The YMCA in West Augusta o Wheeler road has thousands of visitors.. The Kroc Center is huge compared to the YMCA near the Augusta Exchange shopping center.

The Kroc Center is a world class $100 million facility... Every single Kroc Center built in the united states attracts thousands of members...

Ten Kroc Center highlights
1. 5 acre park on the Augusta Canal
2. Employ 110 people
3. 400 seat performing arts theatre, amphitheater, 280 seat community hall, 25-person orchestra pit
4. Aquatics center, sandwich shop, gymnasium
5. Birthday party rooms, entry foyers and ticket counters, locker rooms and family "cabana" dressing rooms, Senior Citzens lounge, and classrooms for arts, music, education, and recreational programming.
6. First Stop Center, 10,000 square feet
7. First Stop Village (seven renovated houses)
8. Eve Street Row (five renovated houses)
9 and 10. The unique water slide fabricated in Italy actually exits the building then wraps around something that looks like and old water tower, and then goes back inside the building through a lazy river and splashes down. The water slide is a tube and can be seen from Broad street... This is a first of it's kind water slide at a Kroc Center.

Plenty of people living in the CSRA will be using the Kroc Center in August of 2011..

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/25/11 - 12:08 am
0
0
countyman, would you park

countyman, would you park downtown to go to the Kroc Center?

If so, will you be able to walk from your parking spot downtown to the center, do your business, and walk back in under two hours?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/25/11 - 10:02 am
0
0
Excellent point, Insider. And

Excellent point, Insider. And the follow-up question/bottom-line is: Would you be able to survive the walk back?

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