Mayor Reed leaning toward not renewing contract with Park Atlanta

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

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ATLANTA - You may be one of the thousands who have received a ticket from Park Atlanta, and now Mayor Kasim Reed says things could soon change. The company's contract may be in jeopardy.

"They are a little too aggressive to me," said Zach Rogers.

Rogers told Channel 2's Craig Lucie that he recently had a run-in with Park Atlanta when he tried to put money in a meter.

"I went inside Sprint for five or 10 minutes. I came back out, and I already had a ticket. I didn't have enough time to do the parking meter because it wasn't working," Rogers said.

That's one of many complaints Park Atlanta has received and its rating on the Better Business Bureau is currently an F.

The Henry James Salon has a sign hanging in front of its business so drivers don't park in the front.

At the Black Bear Tavern, workers said sometimes as soon as their customers arrive, they want to leave after being ticketed out front.

"They don't want to hang out. They are in a bad mood," said Julie Gastineau, who has worked at the Black Bear Tavern for more than six years.

Next door at the Fresh 4 U Mediterranean Café, employees said they lose customers due to aggressive parking tactics.

"They park for a minute and police are like crazy and give out tickets and they (customers) don't know we have parking in the back. They get mad and don't come back. That's hurt our business. It's hurt everyone here," Nesrin Ismail said.

Reed told Channel 2 Action News that he's aware of all the complaints and is leaning toward not renewing Park Atlanta's contract in 2016.

"I understand that people have challenges with Park Atlanta. We substantially renegotiated the contract. And I think improved it. But I want folks to know I'm listening loud and clear," Reed said.

Park Atlanta did not respond to Lucie's call about the future of its contract.

Many said they hope the city takes over parking enforcement and it's not contracted out.

"I think it's a great idea and then people here in town can make that money instead of some nameless, faceless corporation that is far away. I think it's a good idea," Gastineau said.

Park Atlanta guarantees $5 million in revenue for the city each year.

The mayor thinks the city will be in a better financial position to take over parking enforcement when the contract is up in three years.



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