In last week’s work session, the Council discussed the possibility of having a digital parking scanning system in the City.
Recently Prince George’s County recently implemented a digital system for its residential parking permits, and the University of Maryland has implemented a similar program for its students.
The digital permit system allows residents to apply for and receive permits online, and enables the parking enforcement staff to determine through a license plate number whether a car is allowed to park there, so that residents no longer need to use hang tags or stickers. Parking enforcement staff can also act more efficiently, by scanning tag numbers to determine whether the cars have proper parking permits.
The staff looked into the system, however recommended against having the system in the city, for several reasons.
For staff think it will be difficult to enforce visitor passes using a digital scanning system. It will be inconvenient for visitors to register in the parking scanning system.
Second, most of our cars in the city are parked in parallel to the street and the scanning system will be inefficient in scanning tags placed on cars that parked in parallel to the street. Research shows that the efficiency factor is only 50% in such cases. In other words the system will miss scanning half of the parked cars. This is not the case in the University of Maryland system, where most of the cars are parked vertical to the streets. Efficiency factor there is 85%.
Finally, it will take at least five years to get a financial payback from the system, given the cost of the system and its implementation.
Please let me know if you have any questions.