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Visitor Parking

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren as Steve is on holiday.

The building where I work right nowh as about 10 parking spaces reserved for visitors The spaces are reasonably marked on the pavement as ‘Visitor Parking – 2 Hour Maximum’. It’s a nice gesture for visitors certainly. Several times over the past few months an email has gone out from the management company reminding everyone that visitors spaces are for visitors and asking for whoever owns vehicle X to please move it right away or it will be towed away. This past Friday it happened again, about 1 pm. At 3 pm – the deadline set – I watched people start to gather at the window to see what would happen as the car was still there. Nothing was happening right then, but the consensus was ‘tow the car’.

I was more ambivalent. I’m in favor of playing by the rules and certainly towing the car was within the rules, but I had to wonder why the car had not moved. Was it a visitor to the building that didn’t get the email? A visitor that was off site now with someone from the building, maybe a long lunch or a business meeting where they rode together? Or just a scofflaw betting that they were all talk and no tow?  Was it worth ruining the afternoon for the schmo that owned the car?

It’s an interesting situation.

One way to solve this is to just go zero tolerance. If it’s over two hours it’s towed. No email, just gone. Put the onus on the tenants that are being visited to remind the visitors of the two hour time limit. It may not be the most visitor friendly policy (imagine you’re there to close on a mortgage and it takes more than 2 hours!).  Another is to put a note on the window of the vehicle saying ‘this was your freebie, next time you get towed’ and keep a list. This has the merit of not harming real visitors while still having some teeth to the policy. Or, more simply, just paint over the visitor parking signs and call the whole thing a bad idea. Or, just stick with the current plan where the email goes out and usually the car moves and sometimes it doesn’t.

So, imagine you’re the person who sets the policy and makes the decisions. Would you have had the vehicle towed? And whether you would or not, would you change the visitor parking policy or do you like it the way it is now? Post your answer in the discussion forum and also check there to find out what the management company decided to do!

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