Sunday, February 8, 2009

Improving the Safety of Downtown Cleveland Parking Lots

In the City of Cleveland, where the mayor is still trying to figure out what a mayor does, the security in downtown parking lots has long been an issue. During special events downtown these privately owned lots turn into an open-air like "Sam's Club" for criminals & thugs.

Usually I am against nanny-state tactics or municipalities enacting laws forcing business owners to comply with new laws that are usually created on a whim, a new fad or pressure from citizen groups. Though I do believe it is the responsibility of a city to make sure that the businesses in their community provide and maintain a safe & secure environment for their customers. Which again, is often not the case in our downtown private lots.

While Mayor Jackson is still trying to figure out that mayor thing - Safety Director Marty Flask is more concerned about forcing these parking lot owners to be more responsible...
Safety Director Martin Flask wrote a memo last year to Mayor Frank Jackson about possibly requiring lot owners to play a larger role in preventing the break-ins.

Flask had proposed requiring lot owners to keep employees on duty after the lots fill. The lot owners opposed the plan and said the added salaries would increase the costs of parking.

Flask, who has been involved in the meetings, said the city is committed to improving downtown safety for visitors and workers. He is optimistic that an agreement can be reached.

"I expect to see some big improvements," he said.

Flask should be applauded for his efforts and the private parking lot owners should be water boarded for claiming providing a safe environment would increase the already ridiculously high parking fees, that are most often randomly set based on the expected draw of the event.

One of Flask's proposed requirement's is keeping an attendant on duty even after the lot is full, which I believe would be the most effective and logical first step. Cameras and extra lighting has been suggested, but the parking lot owners have voiced some legitimate concerns over these measures.

Sometimes that blundering duo of Mayor Jackson and Cleveland Clowncilman Joe Simpleman just make it so easy for me! For the security cameras to work properly they need adequate lighting, and the lighting near some lots is not the responsibility of parking lot owners - it is the City of Cleveland's...
One hurdle is that the city uses eight styles of lights that require different parts for repairs. That adds to the delay in fixing them, but Cimperman is optimistic the city can satisfy the lot owners and get them fixed more quickly.

I think this is where we insert the - "How many City of Cleveland workers does it take to change a light bulb?" joke.

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