Parking enforcement gets new technology to create a better system

Visitors to downtown Downers Grove will need to pay more attention to parking signs, as the Police Department will begin using license plate scanners in the next couple months.
downers.jpgDeputy Chief Kurt Bluder said the new parking enforcement equipment scans the license plate and retains the information along with providing global positioning coordinates of the vehicle. When the officer drives through downtown, the system will scan vehicles and compare which vehicles have been moved or are over the parking time limit.

The screen turns red and makes a specific alert type sound, Bluder said when a vehicle hasnt been moved. We will do enforcement multiple times a day, and the officer will do it a lot quicker.

The system is costing the village $42,854. Bluder said the system will allow the department to conduct more frequent checks, which could result in more citations being issued. An exact revenue number could not be determined until the program is up and running, Bluder said.

Since 2009, the number of parking enforcement officers has reduced from three to one, making it a challenge to cover all the parking areas in time, Bluder said.

Police Chief Robert Porter said the positions of people who left the parking enforcement group were civilians and not sworn officers.

The parking enforcement officer chalks the tires of vehicles and hopes to make it through town and back in time to enforce time limits.

I think it is going to be quicker without manually getting out and checking, Porter said about the current system. We will be able to cover a lot more area with less resources.

Humidor cigar lounge what is that owner Tammi Karam has been a strong advocate for parking enforcement. She thinks this system will be more successful than chalking and better use of the officers time.

We have one officer that does all the parking enforcement, Karam said. He is on foot and chalking and I saw him chalk and the (vehicle owner) came out and wiped it off the tire.

Karam said the biggest violators of parking rules are business owners and employees. The employees and owners are able to buy parking permits for designated areas in the parking deck.

The biggest problem is we have quite a bit of restaurants and hair salons, Karam said. The (employees) do a switch, they shift their cars. If I saw my employees doing that, I would be on them. I buy parking permits for employees and myself to park in the designated areas.

Bluder said the problem with the current enforcement is not only people wiping off the chalk marks but weather conditions such as rain and snow contribute to making parking enforcement more challenging.

A minimum parking ticket is $25. Bluder said at the start of using the automated license plate scanner there will be more violations.

We will identify more violations with the new system, Bluder said. You will see a drop-off over time, which is what any enforcement activity is supposed to do.
city of Downers Grove
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