Atlanta renegotiates Park Atlanta contract to address broken machines

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ATLANTA —

Atlanta City Hall is trying once again to tweak the contract with the company hired to manage parking and write tickets.

City leaders said they are tired of hearing complaints about parking problems and broken meters.

Channel 2’s Jeff Dore spent some time on North Highland on Wednesday, and quickly saw a group struggling to pay for their parking using a Park Atlanta machine.

Chiky Brandon tried to put money in the machine, but it kept refusing.

“(It) pays me back. What can I say?” Brandon said.

Driver Courtney Black told Dore she had tried the machine across the street two days ago, and it did not work, and still does not work.

City Councilman Lamar Willis said lots of Atlantans want the city to break its contract with Park Atlanta.

“It was an unpalatable option because you’re talking about the city losing $6.5 million in revenue,” Willis said.

Instead, the city negotiated new rules for City Council to vote on. The new rules say drivers will not get a ticket if a machine is broken, or a sign is hidden or missing. Also, if a driver has a problem, they can complain online and complaints will go to the city.

“If we see patterns, we can go and address those patterns. If we see something egregious, we can go fix that,” Willis said.

People continued to try to use the broken machine as it began to rain. Under the new rules, if someone gets a ticket under those circumstances, not only would Park Atlanta have to refund the amount, they would have to pay that amount to the city.

The new contract cost the city $200,000 to negotiate.