Los Gatos Police Beef Up Parking Enforcement With New Technology

Two-week trial period ends Sunday, Jan. 5. Next week, citations will be valid and over-parked cars will be ticketed, police warn.

A new parking enforcement technology is now being used by the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department. Patch file photo
A new parking enforcement technology is now being used by the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department. Patch file photo
The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department has begun using the AutoVu parking management system from public safety company Genetec to enforce parking restrictions in town.

The system is comprised of vehicle mounted cameras, GPS technology and a laptop computer installed on an existing parking control vehicle called a "Go-4," the department said in a news release.

A two-week trial period to test the system began Dec. 23 and ends Sunday, Jan. 5.

During the trial period, parking violators have been receiving only courtesy notices and parking enforcement officers have continued tire chalking, the old way of determining which motorists in town had exceeded their parking limit restrictions.

The system integrates license plate recognition with global positioning technologies to automate parking enforcement, police said.

Tire chalking in the downtown commercial business district will no longer be required in the future, the release stated.

AutoVu will be downloaded with a current "hot list" of vehicles that have five or more outstanding parking violations and the license plate numbers of stolen vehicles in the state's stolen vehicle and license plate system, according to police.

Data gathered through routine parking enforcement will also be used for investigative purposes if needed by law enforcement agencies, the release said.

The system can read and digitally store license plate information, vehicle images and obtain vehicle location information via GPS positioning.

Los Gatos Monte Sereno police Sgt. J.R. Langer said the new system cost the town more than $76,000 paid with equipment replacement funds approved by the Los Gatos Town Council May 17, 2013.

The AutoVu system can be utilized in all weather conditions and it is safer to operate than tire chalking, Langer noted.

Generally, for safety and mobility reasons, parking control officers have chosen to conduct tire chalking on foot, Langer said.

"This means that enforcement can only occur at the walking speed of a particular officer. This also means that officers are not able to provide consistent enforcement," Langer told Los Gatos Patch.

A review of the digital images stored by the system will assist in determining the validity of citations issued if there is an appeal, he said.

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Sheila Sanchez January 03, 2014 at 04:10 PM
@Marilyn Leonard ... there are NO parking meters in the downtown LG area, but parking enforcement officers do mark tires with chalk in lots that have two or three-hour parking restrictions. The new technology reads the license plates to ticket over-parked vehicles. Don't stop coming to beautiful LG for shopping and dining, Marilyn. You'll miss out! Thanks for your support and reading the site!
Homes & Estates Liquidation Providers H.E.L.P. January 04, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Los Gatos shop keepers are having enough trouble keeping their doors open,their short hours, the inflated rents and lack of parking have always been a problem! They need to do something about the lack of parking and allow longer parking time limits, so one can and shop or dine at your leisure. LPD hasn't allowed overnight parking for quite some time, so you have people risking a DUI and driving drunk for fear of having the car towed. So the shoppers can't shop and drunk drivers on the road what a great idea!
Lynley Kerr Hogan January 04, 2014 at 01:04 PM
There is nothing more horrible about living in Almond Grove than having friends and family ticketed just for visiting you! As William Kaschub shouted so eloquently at me, "Shame on you! Shame on Los Gatos!" If you spy on ME, I will spy on YOU! Guaranteed!
Mike Kane January 05, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Rather than investing in this technology, LG would be better served by equipping it's meters for a service like ParkMobile. Users can register their start and end on their mobile devices and pay by credit card. Parking enforcement would have visibility to expired meters for enforcement. Users have the convenience of extending their meter when delayed. Everybody wins. This system is installed in Santa Cruz and works really well.
Maria Ristow January 06, 2014 at 12:40 AM
Los Gatos doesn't have parking meters. Not downtown or anywhere else in town. What we do have are time-limited parking spaces downtown that cost nothing to the person parking there unless they are parked too long and get caught. What we need are some parking garages for the employees of the downtown businesses to use free of charge that don't have time limits. We might also need longer parking allowances if people want to be downtown and not have to move their cars after three hours. But there are no meters to feed and all parking is free. For at least 3 hours at a time.


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