San Jose is one of the few metropolitan areas where it’s remarkably easy to park.
The downtown garages are relatively inexpensive.
But your “free” options are about to become limited.
According to San Jose Spotlight, parking enforcement officers are going to be doling out significantly more citations.
So if you park in a spot that says “2 Hour Parking” — you may want to stick to it.
Officers are going to be utilizing high-speed license plate reader tech to monitor those time-limited zones.
As they’re driving around, the cameras will keep track of who is parking where, and for how long.
San Jose parking enforcement to become more “high tech”
Heather Hoshii, one of the parking and downtown operations managers, explains to San Jose Spotlight:
“It is simply a new tool that will allow them to be more efficient. Pivoting from a slow, manual process to a much more automated process will allow officers to patrol larger areas more quickly.”
The current plan is to roll out the tech in two phases.
First, it’s going to focus on parking areas with fewer than 2 hour limits.
Then, later this summer, they’ll patrol spaces with longer parking times.
The result? A $40 ticket. Possibly more.
San Jose could use tech to enforce other traffic crimes
This isn’t the first time the city has proposed controversial tech like this.
Earlier this year, lawmakers from across the state proposed a pilot program aimed at capturing license plate images on highways.
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who co-authored the bill, says the bill isn’t meant to be a punishment:
“It’s meant to slow down cars in areas that are already dangerous.”
Assemblyman Phil Ting says drivers who are aware of the traffic cameras will adjust their behavior:
“They are much more cognizant of their speed, they’re careful about how they are driving.”
But these programs have been abused before.
Cameras placed in sneaky locations around Chicago generated $11 million in fines for people driving 6mph over the limit in 2 months.
These very same cameras were installed disproportionately in minority neighborhoods.
There’s also the sneakily placed speed camera in Brooklyn that generated $77,550 in speeding tickets in a single day.
Needless today, speed cameras are controversial.
The only areas under consideration are the “highest injury streets, school zones, and on streets with a history of speed contests.”
Ting explained that 70% of San Francisco’s fatalities occur on 12% of the streets.
Under the new bill in California, fines will vary based on individual offenders’ income.
Tickets will start at $50 for going 11mph over the limit, and after paying, they will (supposedly) delete all license plate data within 60 days.
If you’re under the poverty line or complete community service, then that cost will go down.
Funds generated will go towards traffic and safety improvements:
“The money generated from these citations needs to go back into traffic calming measures in these particular areas.”