I ran it by a couple of friends and they seemed equally as perplexed. Maybe Park Safe LA had somehow ruffled some feathers in Santa Monica traffic and parking circles. I did take the occasional pot shot at the LADOT and different LA counties on Twitter and Facebook when I saw parking signs that made no sense like the fact that limos get special parking privileges when it comes to fire hydrant parking (see previous blog), but surely I couldn’t be in trouble for this. Could I?
I like to think that I don’t intimidate easy, but I definitely went into the Santa Monica City Hall conference room a little on guard. I’m not ashamed to say, I researched the Santa Monica manager of City Traffic Engineers and Santa Monica’s track record with parking issues and technology before arriving. I figured this was my best bet at being prepared for any potential pitfalls that lay ahead.
When I finally sat down with Sam Morrissey, the Santa Monica manager of City Traffic Engineers, I realized how my fears couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sam immediately put me at ease when he complimented me on creating Park Safe LA and expressed his desire to make parking less confusing in Santa Monica. He brought in a Transportation Engineer that focused on creating the signs I often poke fun of and one of the leads from their IT department. I was more than surprised. I was impressed.
After picking my brain about future Park Safe LA app developments, Sam informed me of projects the city of Santa Monica was working on to help myself and other developers solve these problems The first thing they mentioned was open data sets they already had available and projects underway to make additional data accessible for developers.
Coming out of the Santa Monica City Hall meeting I was more motivated than ever to dig in and make Park Safe LA better than ever, to do a better job partnering with like minded individuals dedicated to solving these problems, and excited that their were ripples in the universe about a tiny app I created on my MacBook Pro in my apartment.
Meeting the people that actually design the parking signs we find so confusing and hearing their own frustrations of state and federal laws that tie their hands in terms of design, I felt naïve that I used to believe that they were almost intentionally trying to confuse us. The reality is that a lot of good people are working hard on these issues and I was lucky enough to find some new partners today.