City of Charleston – Southern Charm Meets Improved Enforcement

How the City of Charleston improved parking enforcement for citizens and enforcers with The Barnacle®

The City of Charleston needed a more effective and efficient way to handle parking enforcement and collect unpaid parking fines. The Barnacle®, a revolutionary, smart parking device, proved to be the solution they were looking for.

Challenges of Outdated Vehicle Immobilization System

Prior to using The Barnacle®, the city’s parking fine collection process was cumbersome for both enforcers and motorists. When motorists accumulated $200 in outstanding parking fines, the city would boot their vehicles. In order to have the boot removed after hours, the motorists had to go to the revenue collections department or police station to pay their outstanding balances. Then, the motorist returned to their car and waited for an enforcement officer or police officer to remove the boot.

The City of Charleston wanted to simplify its collections process, modernize its parking enforcement, and reduce its reliance on the boot, an antiquated parking enforcement device. The boot was too heavy for most handlers, likely to cause harm to rims, and not always visible to violators and other motorists. There was also a concern for the safety of staff as they attempted to install and remove the boot hunched over, amidst oncoming traffic. Additionally, the staff was unable to track misplaced boots, since there was no GPS system in place. When the boot was finally applied, many motorists simply replaced the booted tire with a spare and attempted to drive off.

The City’s 21st Century Solution

The division head of parking heard about The Barnacle® from his manager. After researching the solution on his own, he decided that The Barnacle was the enforcer and motorist friendly solution the city needed to help with its parking issues. The city council members and mayor agreed.

Prior to The Barnacle’s official launch in May 2022, the city informed the community about the new parking enforcement solution and citation collection process. Barnacled motorists would be able to pay their outstanding fines online or over the phone versus visiting the revenue collections department or police station. These changes were communicated in numerous posts on social media, articles in the local newspaper, and segments on the local television news.

The Barnacle® is a Win for Enforcers and Motorists

The reaction to The Barnacle® has been extremely positive. Enforcers are thrilled with the lightweight device because they can safely and easily deploy it in seconds from a standing position in full sight of oncoming traffic. Also, it is equipped with GPS so parking officials know where the devices are at all times.

Motorists have a more relaxed attitude towards the attachment of a Barnacle than towards the dreaded boot. They like being able to easily pay their outstanding citations online or over the phone without leaving the comfort and safety of their cars.

The City of Charleston has seen many benefits as well. It attributes increased parking compliance to The Barnacle because the bright yellow devices are visual parking violation deterrents for other motorists. The device attaches to the vehicle’s windshield obstructing the driver’s view, making the car nearly impossible to drive and outstanding fine collection inevitable. Most motorists now pay their fees within an hour of being Barnacled. The presence of the devices has also sparked many violators to pay their outstanding fines so they can avoid having The Barnacle deployed on their vehicle.