Boulder Finds Short-term and Long-term Solutions
It is easy to see why Boulder is a popular place to live and work. Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year, thousands of acres of open space, the University of Colorado, and a bold entrepreneurial spirit. Boulder has been named the “Smartest Town in the Country” by Forbes, the “Foodiest Town in America” by Bon Appétit, and repeatedly tops quality of life lists. The city of Boulder has a total population of approximately 99,069 including University of Colorado (CU) students. People here are conscious of their carbon footprint and keeping the environment clean. For Boulder, transportation and demand management (TDM) is as important as parking management. Parking services is part of the Downtown University Hill Management Division, and parking revenues are used by the city to fund bus riders and eco pass.
Integrated Solution Increases Efficiency of Parking Violations Enforcement
The City of Boulder Parking Services organization uses the T2 Flex™ unified parking management platform and 10 handhelds with T2 Flex handheld enforcement software to enforce parking violations. They also recently implemented T2 eTicketbook in-vehicle citation writing software that leverages Genetec AutoVu License Plate Recognition (LPR) through an integration that enhances enforcement workflows. The system coordinates enforcement activites with the court system’s records and streamlines operational efficiency by combining the benfits of an integrated handheld and mobile LPR enforcement system.
Eric Guenther, Assistant Manager Parking Services, said, “When we bought our AutoVu LPR system, one of our considerations was a vendor that also works with T2. The eTicketbook software easily integrates with AutoVu, and allows us to issue citations from the same computer that runs AutoVu and enforce twice the area size than before. We are way ahead of our time.”
The ability to enforce long-term permit parking and short-term paid parking simultaneously is a key benefit for the city. Boulder uses eTicketBook and AutoVu to enforce:
- Scofflaws – the scofflaw list is generated from T2 Flex and automatically put into the AutoVu system each day
- Permits in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown
- Timed parking zones
While Boulder has been using the T2 Flex enforcement solution since 2000, the eTicketBook integration with AutoVu was implemented in May of 2012. Staff mastered the efficiency-boosting technology quickly and most found it, “The best way to enforce while enjoying the operation of LPR.”
Issuing citations with eTicketBook is much faster than with handheld ticket writers because much of the vehicle and citation information is automatically populated from AutoVu to eTicketBook, obsoleting manual data entry. The time this saves allows the enforcement staff to increase coverage from one district to two.
“LPR sometimes gives you between 3,000-4,000 reads in a day,” said Guenther. “A single operator could not accomplish that many entries, which makes the benefit of the integrated system very real.”
More Citations, Accuracy, and Revenue
Officers generally write 200-300% more citations in the areas where LPR and eTicketBook are used. In addition, they are on the lookout for other violations, which also produces beneficial results. Of the roughly 9,000 citations per month, 1,000 citations are written using eTicketBook.
Citations issued this way are very accurate and are thus easier to collect on. Said Guenther, “We have had an increase in identifying scofflaws. Total revenue is easily over $200,000 for scofflaws alone for the year to date through September. Compared to last year’s total of $200,000, we are looking at a potential 20-25% increase for the year.”