True's first postulation is that a drop in bootings could be tied to an overall drop in tickets given out. And while this does not explain a 20 percent dip, it does make some logical sense. If Parking Control Officers are busting fewer vehicles, they'll be running license plate scans on fewer vehicles and discovering fewer cars eligible for the boot treatment.
Of course, this prompts questions about why fewer tickets are being given out in the first place. Again, DPT doesn't have a ready answer for that, but True thinks it may have something to do with recent augmentations in parking fines. The theory is, folks tend to be more careful about not getting busted if they're liable to pay more money. Perhaps so, but this all sounds a bit too neat for our liking (and the DPT has a vested interest in justifying that fine augmentation).
Interestingly, True notes that DPT has formulated a plan to nail parking ticket accumulators proactively, instead of the current method of happening across them during routine patrols. Parking Control Officers know the offenders' addresses and know their license plates -- so why not pay a visit, scour the surrounding blocks, and apply the boot? In addition to whatever revenue this kind of direct action could generate (and it's a $205 charge to have a boot removed), the notion that the city's retribution is swift and personal could goad scofflaws into paying up.
True -- who, humorously enough, once had his own car booted -- says the above plan is in the very early stages of discussion. It will be interesting to see who is president when that strategy is finally rolled out.
Photo | Strom Carlson