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Lawmaker says proposal cracks down on Park Atlanta

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An Atlanta City Councilor says his proposal, which goes before a city council committee this morning, gives drivers protections against the private company hired to enforce the city’s parking laws.

City Councilman H. Lamar Willis says his legislation is the product of a compromise reached between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office and Duncan Solutions, which operates locally as Park Atlanta. The compromise, Willis says, is what makes his bill different than previous city council attempts to fix the contract at the center of many complaints from drivers, businesses and residents for years.

“The squeaky wheel in this case absolutely got the oil,” said Willis. “So, what we tried to do is oil those concerns. Really, we took the laundry list. We sat in the meetings. We heard their concerns.”

Under the compromise, Park Atlanta can’t ticket drivers if a parking space doesn’t have appropriate or clear parking signs. If a sign is taken down, Willis says Park Atlanta wouldn’t be able to give you a ticket and would have 2 days to replace to sign or else.

“They can be fined if they do fine our citizens under those conditions,” said Willis.

You also couldn’t get a ticket if the meter is not working. In exchange for those rules, Park Atlanta would give the city $5.3 million each year in revenue. That would be $200,000 less than the company gives now.