City Employee: What’s that? You’re applying for an encroachment permit (EP)?
Resident/Contractor: Yes, we’ll be painting, and we’ll need to place scaffolding on the sidewalk, I think we’ll need to take up two parking spaces as well.
City Employee: Okay, you’ll need to apply for the EP here, jump through a ring of fire, tame a bearded dragon, and head to Parking Services, which is in a downtown land far away, to get approval from them for no parking signs—oh, and you must notify them 72 hours in advance.
Resident/Contractor: Omg, forget it.
What an inconvenient process!
The distance between Public Works and other services at City Hall has tended to complicate processes, such as, applying for an encroachment permit. The most common example is when a resident comes to get an Encroachment Permit that allows them to reserve or block parking spaces for various purposes. After getting an encroachment permit the resident must go to Parking Services to get and pay for “No Parking” signs that are then verified by Parking Services officers.
To eliminate the extra step of going to Parking Services, Public Works and Parking Services met to discuss how we could provide a “one stop shop” customer experience for our applicants. In the spirit of Together San Rafael, and with both groups open minded and motivated with the primary goal of improving the customer experience, Public Works and Parking Services developed a process that would allow Public Works to issue “No Parking” signs.
While the primary goal was to save residents and contractors time, other benefits from this collaboration include:
- Reduced vehicles trips.
- Stronger enforcement of “No Parking” signs by requiring purchase at the same time as an Encroachment Permit is issued.
- A tool for both Public Works and Parking Services to use to better track and monitor reserved parking in the City.
Parking Services and Public Works will start this collaboration in March and meet regularly to discuss the effectiveness of the implementation. We’ll be back with an update this summer!