Elm City transportation officials updated the community on Wednesday on various summer policy changes, ranging from a license-plate recognition contract renewal to parking permit applications.
“We need to teach the public,” said Doug Hausladen ’04, director of the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking, at the briefing. “Not everyone is so inquisitive that they proactively ask questions.”
For Hausladen, one of the city’s main transportation concerns at the moment is on-street parking, which residents have brought up frequently at neighborhood meetings. To improve enforcement of residential parking rules, the government has invested in upgrading its license-plate recognition program. After some final updates to the current software, the contract is “all but approved” and will be signed in the coming weeks.
Since its implementation, the license plate recognition program has helped officials expose parking scofflaws and potential criminal activity. The renewed contract will entail additional installments of plate scanners, aiding the city’s efforts to crack down on unregistered vehicles.
Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson SOM ’81 raised concerns about potential public backlash.
“When we start sweeping neighborhoods and residents who could have but didn’t register their vehicles get ticketed, it will generate friction,” Nemerson said.
He urged residents to register their cars and apply for parking permits before the program kicks into gear. The $20 application fee for those permits was eliminated in 2016, which Nemerson argued also removes any excuse for residents not to obtain a permit.
The application for the residential parking permit can be found online on the city government website. Yale students whose cars are registered outside Connecticut may also apply for a parking permit, although they must file the application in person rather than through the mail. The city is currently working on a digital application to make the process more accessible, Hausladen said.
Another initiative to demystify parking in New Haven is the renovation of street-sign designs. Currently street signs are composed of two separate parts, with a red no-parking sign on top and details on permissible parking conditions in green below.
Mike Piscitelli, deputy economic development administrator, said he believes the current design with its “onerous, big red sign” discourages residents from on-street parking. Instead, New Haven hopes to take a page from behavioral economics by reversing the order of red and green street signs to ameliorate people’s impression of the city’s parking regulations and nudge them toward proper parking practices.
As for off-street parking, New Haven has implemented a system that publishes the occupancy of city parking garages online in real time, with plans to enlarge the initiative’s scope by physically installing meters that indicate real-time garage occupancy around the city. Residents may also reserve off-street parking spaces via a website sponsored by the government.
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles requires that in-state vehicle owners must renew car registration certificates every two years.
Nicole Ahn | email@example.com