May 31, 2023
The Mill Valley Police Department (MVPD) is rolling out its newest Parking Enforcement vehicle, which is equipped with six cameras capable of scanning and digitally chalking parked vehicles. Referred to as “AutoChalk,” the new technology gives Parking Enforcement Officers the ability to scan and log parked vehicle locations using GPS and satellite technology. The system collects “before” and “after” images, which are then used to determine if a parked vehicle has moved from its position.
This new technology allows the Parking Enforcement Officer to monitor restricted parking zones throughout the day, making sure that vehicles are adhering to parking time limits. Enforcing time limits creates parking availability in our popular commercial areas and in some residential areas.
Additionally, the system is expected to reduce on-the-job injuries due to the repetitive motion of hand chalking parked vehicles. The new AutoChalk technology allows Parking Enforcement Officers the ability to do their jobs more efficiently, with less instances of repetitive injuries.
Q: Is the AutoChalk system scanning vehicles every time it is in use?
A: No, the system is only scanning vehicles when activated by the Parking Enforcement Officer. Typically, AutoChalk is activated when the Officer is entering an area that has parking restrictions or limits.
Q: Once my vehicle is scanned by the AutoChalk system, how long is that information retained?
A: If your vehicle is scanned and no parking violations are indicated, your vehicle’s image and data are purged within 48 hours. If your vehicle was subsequently issued a citation for a violation, your vehicle’s image and data are retained for 2 years in accordance with the City of Mill Valley’s adopted records retention schedule.
Q: Is AutoChalk sharing or selling the data they collect?
A: No. This was one of the reasons MVPD was drawn to AutoChalk, which is privately owned by Tannery Creek Systems, and not in the business of selling or distributing data. Also, Tannery Creek Systems does not share collected data with any other entity or agency.
Q: Why does MVPD need this technology?
A: The new technology is more efficient and will keep employees safer. Hand-chalking tires and follow-up inspection is extremely time consuming, as parking restrictions in Mill Valley has expanded in complexity over the years. Hand-chalking requires driving at slow speeds or walking restricted parking zones, which is time consuming and inefficient. Additionally, the repetitive motion of the traditional chalking method leads to employee injuries.
Q: Why does this vehicle need so many cameras?
A: Multiple cameras allow the vehicle to capture vehicle data from both sides of the street.
Q: How many Parking Enforcement Officers does MVPD currently have?
A: MVPD has two Parking Enforcement Officers.
Q: What other cities/jurisdictions are using AutoChalk?
A: Santa Rosa Police Department, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, Pacific Grove Police Department, Santa Barbara Police Department, Fredericksburg Police (VA), Madison (WI), Calgary (Canada).
Q: Who approved the purchase of this technology?
A: The Mill Valley City Council approved the purchase in 2020. You can find the Staff Report here
Q: Why does the City have parking meters and parking time limits anyway?
Parking time limits keep parked cars from staying in one spot for long periods of time, making spaces available for people whose only option is to drive and park.
In our business districts, parking time limits provide for parking spaces to open, allowing shoppers and diners to come and go from the businesses they wish to frequent. Not having time limits in high-demand areas would significantly impact our local business community. In residential areas, parking time limits keep residents from having to compete with non-residents for parking spots near their homes.
Q: Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
A: You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our front office at 415-389-4100.