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Midtown residents being ticketed despite registering for parking permits

Midtown is one of at least 15 neighborhoods in Atlanta that require residential and guest permit parking or risk being ticketed.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - People living in parts of Atlanta are frustrated over a new online system linked to permit parking in the city.

Blane Wood, who lives in Midtown, recently started using the City of Atlanta’s and ATLPlus online portal for parking permit applications. Midtown is one of at least 15 neighborhoods in the city that require residents and their guests to have a permit to park or risk being ticketed.

“There’s definitely some sort of disconnect with the app and the people out here reading the tags,” Wood said. “They’re supposed to be synced. I don’t think they are.”

Last Friday, Wood used the portal to register his friend’s vehicle for a permit. He received confirmation that the process was successful, but his friend still got a ticket.

“It’s a system that’s supposed to work and clearly, it’s not working,” he said.

Todd Ervin, who’s lived in Midtown for 11 years, said he never had an issue with parking permits until the process went digital. Guest permits used to be printed on the window of vehicles. He’s had to contest three tickets after using the online portal.

“They’re not even reading letters appropriately,” he said. “They read my friend’s license plate as a ‘1′ which was actually an ‘I’ and the plate reader read it wrong.”

The permit is “linked to a digital record which is shared in real-time to ATLPlus parking enforcement personnel through their networked license plate recognition vehicles,” according to a FAQ on the city’s website.

On one occasion, Ervin noticed a parking enforcement officer ticketing one of his guests’ vehicles and confronted the officer about it.

“He did explain to us that the system isn’t really working, and it actually makes his job more difficult by not being able to look at the parking pass in the window before,” Ervin recalled.

CBS46 brought this issue to the city of Atlanta on Tuesday. On Friday, the Atlanta Department of Transportation responded telling us the portal launched in Feb. 2022. Since then, the city has received less than 2-percent errors.

“The city is continuing to address issues that are either user error or software-based and any potential other issues.,” an ATLDOT spokesperson wrote in an email to CBS46. “We will work to resolve any issues from our communities.”

Ervin and Wood, who both had their tickets dismissed, appreciate how the city is trying to be more efficient, but they said they would like to see the parking permit problems resolved sooner rather than later.

“It’s inconvenient,” said Ervin. “I get that we’re in the digital age and we want to move to the digital side of things and want to be more efficient. However, we can’t launch a system like that and take away the old system until it actually works.”

All citations can be contested by following instructions printed on the back of each citation, according to the ATLDOT spokesperson. Disputes should be addressed within 24 to 28 hours after being reported.

Ervin and Wood contested their tickets by emailing parkingfeedback@atlantaga.gov. To learn more about parking services, including residential parking permits, click here.