The system is broken - and we can fix it...

The city of Wilmington is in the process of becoming a truly awesome city - a place where entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and businesses create incredible things.

Since October of 2011, the citizens, business community, arts community, Wilmington City Officials, and others have been engaged in improving the parking and parking enforcement issues in the city of Wilmington.

Huge progress has been made and the direction we are going as a community is extremely positive!

This blog chronicles the efforts of all who helped make this happen...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A few things I learned at my first meeting with city officials

On Friday, January 13, I had the privilege of sitting down and discussing parking ticket issues with Mayor Baker's Chief of Staff, Bill Montgomery, Communications Director John Rago, City Council Member Hanifa Shabazz, Downtown Visions' Director of Business Development Will Minster, and many other city officials and community activists (the table was packed).

I wanted to take a moment to share some things that I learned during that meeting that may be helpful for all of us.

  • First, there's a reason for all of the laws - and some are not in the city's control. One of the best examples of this is the "no parking within 20 feet of the corner" rule. It turns out this is a state law and it's there to make sure emergency vehicles (fire trucks) can make those corners quickly. If we want to explore making changes to that, we should talk with our state representatives and state senators about some modifications to the state code. (PLEASE NOTE: this is a hint for those who want to do something constructive to help make parking in Wilmington more efficient).
  • Second, the Parking Regulation Enforcement Officers (PREOs) are trained in both conflict resolution and conflict avoidance. What this means is that when a PREO walks away from someone (there's been at least one reader who has shared about such an experience), the PREO is not trying to be rude, but is doing what their training suggests they do.
  • Third, the city has been holding several meetings to address our parking ticket concerns - I had kind of assumed there had been some meetings before our sit-down on Friday, based on the discussions we had, it looks like the city has really explored some ideas to start addressing the issues we've been talking about here for the past few months.

In the coming days, weeks, and months we should be providing more information, details, and plans to improve this system and make a real difference in our community.

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