Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADoT) has been given an award for innovation in its approach to parking in the city.
The agency's efforts to help drivers from economically disadvantaged communities - especially those hit by Covid-19 - led the National Parking Association to name it 2020 Innovative Organisation of the Year.
LADoT’s Community Assistance Parking Program (CAPP) allows individuals to pay off open or unpaid parking citations in the form of community service - or agree to receive services such as job training or substance abuse counselling.
Since 2017, 3,600 citations have been resolved via CAPP, while another 9,000 people have taken advantage of extended payment terms for fines if they are impacted by unemployment or have other difficulties paying.
LADoT says this has led to a 90% payment rate - compared to just 40% with a standard three-month plan.
"We are pleased to implement socially-oriented parking policies geared toward alleviating the financial strain for disadvantaged residents," said Ken Husting, principal transportation engineer, Bureau of Parking Management at LADoT.
"The onset of the pandemic further highlights the importance of these programmes. The City of Los Angeles is committed to the success of CAPP and the flexible payment plans, and we will continue to promote policies to build an equitable parking programme that is responsive to the needs of our community.”
Conduent Transportation is behind the parking scheme.
“These two programmes have shown to be vitally important for motorists who need help or have fallen on hard times," says Holly Cooper, the firm's general manager, public safety & curbside management solutions.
Conduent also provides dynamic pricing solutions for the LA Express Park on-street parking scheme.
The company says it is the third consecutive year that an initiative in which it is involved received the innovation award.
Last year it went to the Division of Parking Services in Columbus, Ohio, while in 2018 it was won by the District Department of Transportation’s ParkDC programme to improve on-street parking in Washington, DC.