Genetec AutoVu License Plate Recognition – Helps City Of Aspen To Combat Parking Violations
AutoVu allows parking enforcement officers to enforce time-limit regulations without leaving the enforcement vehicle
The city of Aspen, Colorado, at an elevation just shy of 8000 feet, is a popular ski and snow destination resort. It draws a large tourist population every year, including a number of world-famous celebrities. Though the city, a four-hour drive from Denver, is home to a mere 5200 residents, it holds a bed base for 25,000 and imports around 13,000 workers per day. With all of this activity, parking in Aspen is at a premium, and there is little space left to build.
The Business Challenge
Tim Ware is a veteran of the city’s parking enforcement team, having served as the Director of the Department for the past 18 years. The Department oversees around 850 commercial on-street parking spaces in the city center, a 340-space public parking garage and around 3000 residential parking spaces. Most of the commercial on-street spaces in the downtown area are managed with a pay-and-display system, with the remainder located in small pockets of unpaid spaces with time limits between 30 and 60 minutes. The parking garage is gated, and therefore mostly self-regulating. The greatest challenge to Mr. Ware’s team, however, has been monitoring the residential parking spaces.
The popularity of the town coupled with the scarcity of parking has, over time, caused visitors to spill into the city’s surrounding residential neighbourhoods in search of a place to leave their vehicles. In 1994, Mr. Ware implemented regulations on parking in residential zones that allowed visitors to park for a maximum of two hours. Tire chalking practices were employed to enforce this regulation.
Unfortunately, Mr. Ware found that people simply moved their vehicles every two hours, defeating the purpose of the limit, which was put in place to regulate congestion in the area. A no-re-park ordinance has since been instated (allowing visitors to park for two hours total in any given eight hour period).
Today, residential parking zones provide for three parking methods: free permits are provided to residents, and visitors can choose between paid day passes or free parking with a two hour limit. These new parking provisions rendered the practice of tire chalking obsolete. Chalk was too rudimentary a method for tracking vehicles, as the only information it could provide was whether a car had moved since originally parked. This method was not sophisticated enough to track vehicles for potential re-park infractions. The situation necessitated a system that encompassed a database, tracking cars throughout the day on a system-wide level, instead of just on a spot-by-spot basis.
It was at this point that Mr. Ware set out to find an improved solution to aid his enforcement officers in effectively carrying out their jobs.
It was estimated that between 400 and 800 cars were