In January 2018, City of Milwaukee Alderman Bauman proposed an ordinance to the Public Works committee that would mandate private parking operators adhere to a number of safety and security measures including elevated guard towers, manned entrances, constant human surveillance, and more. The ordinance was in response to a rash of break-ins at one lot in Downtown Milwaukee. As a result of the proposed ordinance, a group of downtown owners, operators, security personnel, and organizations, teamed up to find a reasonable solution that would address safety and security concerns. At the outset, the group assembled a survey of all parking license operators in the C9 zoning district to determine current safety and security measures. Those measures were correlated with the Milwaukee Police Department crime statistics and showed that there was not any one particular safety/security oversite that led to break-ins. Rather, the data showed that there are many variables for each lot including location, proximity to other buildings, access to lighting and more that played into the lots vulnerabilities.
The outcome of this exercise includes a new awareness about the license approval process. The license application form requests safety and security information, but often that section is left incomplete. Every operator surveyed had a comprehensive security plan in place. The group found, in talking with operators and owners, that when there were problems or break-ins, corrective action was taken. They also found that operators appreciate the opportunity to know about any issues or break-ins which are often not reported to the operators themselves. This information will help influence security decisions on an evolving basis. The collaborative process will result in greater transparency, continued affordable parking, and most importantly, greater security in Downtown Milwaukee. Below is a statement as assembled by members of the coalition. Click HERE for the link.
Please see HERE for Alderman Bauman’s Statement.
Safety and security are important to all downtown stakeholders. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with City leadership, Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), building owners and safety and security personnel on changes to the parking lot licenses process with the intended result of improving safety in our City parking lots.
In response to the Alderman’s proposed legislation, property owners, managers, representatives from CARW, BOMA, the Downtown BID and parking operators rapidly responded by looking at best practices, analyzing data and convening conversations about sustainable solutions. This ordinance is the result of public-private work to bring greater understanding and transparency to the parking-lot license process. Inclusion of a security plans have always been requested as part of the licensing, but many approved licenses had not included them. In addition to the legislation itself, the MPD will now provide data to property owners and parking operators relative to crime trends for monitoring and action. BOMA has also offered to provide education campaigns and include MPD report to their membership.
Not only will there be greater accountability as a result of this process, but an ongoing communication between the building owners, parking operators, MPD and City officials.