After months of discussion and debate and occasionally contentious meetings with parking lot operators and downtown business owners, the members of the city council's Transportation and Environment Committee appeared today more than ready to bring to a close the saga of the parking boot. And so, pending a vote by the full council on August 24, here's the new ordinance boiled down to a single sentence: Operators can only boot patrons if their parking lots provide printed receipts. Simple as that.
The ordinance takes effect January 1, 2010 -- again, if the council gives its approval -- and till then, parking lot operators can still use video auditing, which Tennell Atkins wanted to keep for good (or at least till mid-April) until fellow council members Angela Hunt and Ron Natinsky said, Unh-unh. Hunt said she'd received numerous complaints from people who had requested to see video evidence upon being booted, only to be told to "call this number and see it at another time."
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Small-lot operators have complained that they can't afford the kind of electronic equipment that'll swap you a receipt for a few bills. "In that case, booting isn't an option for you," Hunt tells Unfair Park. "It's not like we're closing you down. We just take away one option."