Mayor Reed: "I've heard enough about PARKatlanta"

8:10 AM, Oct 22, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he likely will not renew the contract for the city's parking enforcement agency, PARKatlanta, when it expires in 2016.

ATLANTA PARKING PROTEST

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"I've heard enough about PARKatlanta while I've been mayor," Reed told 11Alive's Matt Pearl, "and I'd like to fix it."

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The mayor cannot fix it now without breaking a massive contract and owing PARKatlanta millions. But he reiterated he will likely let the contract expire, saying he was sincere when he told Creative Loafing, "It will probably be my last gift to the people of Atlanta."

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"People in Atlanta clearly do not like the way this company has operated," Reed said Monday.

That goes back several years. PARKatlanta launched in 2009, but residents soon complained of confusing signs and malfunctioning meters. In 2010, the city council actually approved a 30-day moratorium on parking enforcement so that PARKatlanta could fix its issues.

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Two years later, a new wave of complaints led the council to pass 11Alive's Parking Bill of Rights, calling for fair parking enforcement. Late in 2012, the city restructured its deal with PARKatlanta, giving back $200,000 a year in exchange for more accurate, more accountable enforcement.

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When asked if things have improved since that deal, Reed responded, "Yeah, I think they're better. I think the number of complaints and their intensity has changed, so I think we have improved it as much as we could."

The mayor says he'd prefer to see the city take over enforcement itself rather than hire a private contractor.

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