PARKatlanta’s seven-year contract is up in 2016, and Atlanta residents are fighting to make sure it is not renewed.
Over the past seven years, Atlanta residents have developed various grievances with PARKatlanta. Residents have complained in city council meetings about aggressive meter patrolling and covert releases of finances.
Three city council meetings have been designated to the topic of contract renewal, the second of which was held on Dec. 10 at Inman Middle School.
Richard Mendoza, commissioner of Public Works for Atlanta City Council, represented PARKatlanta, and residents were given five minutes each to voice their opinions.
Gary Aiken, an Atlanta Midtown resident, had grievances on the conduct of PARKatlanta police.
“There was a woman in a wheelchair who couldn’t reach high enough to put change in the meter, and the PARKatlanta officer gave her a ticket,” he said.
Aiken said during the incident he told the officer to call his supervisor, and the supervisor supported the officer’s decision in ticketing the woman.
Mike Boyle, admin of Let’sBOOTPARKatlanta.com, said PARKatlanta’s finances are “suspect” and “should be freely accessible.”
Let’SBOOTPARKatlanta is a grassroots campaign to remove PARKatlanta’s control of the city’s parking infrastructure, according to the website’s purpose statement.
Caitlin Murphy, a 22-year-old Georgia State student, said PARKatlanta ticketed her “because she parked on a crosswalk,” when the violation was actually a speed bump.
When asked about potential contract reform, Mendoza said at the moment the City of Atlanta has no plans on renewing the contract.
Mendoza said when PARKatlanta was instituted, Atlanta was in a different financial position than its current state. He said now Atlanta’s options are “more open” to new infrastructure.