For Emergency Use Only

January 21, 2011 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Fantastic news for those who aren’t fans of using robocalls to advertise parking bans. Mayor Beutler now says the calls will only be used for emergencies. Parking bans definitely don’t meet the criteria.

This isn’t a perfect solution, however. Beutler said he heard from many people who found the calls “bothersome”, even if they didn’t come at 2 in the morning. I’m among that crowd (although I didn’t directly contact the Mayor’s office). But it’s important to note that I recognize that although I find the calls bothersome, that doesn’t mean there aren’t those in the community who find value in them. A better solution would permit folks to opt-in to the calls for non-emergencies like parking bans. Then folks who live in the city’s core—where parking bans are actually enforced—can have one more medium by which to receive parking ban information. Meanwhile folks like me who live in neighborhoods where illegally-parked cars are rarely ticketed or towed (but they are plowed under) can choose to settle for the umpteen media already available to us.

There’s a catch, of course. I suspect there’s a strong correlation between the folks who need to be informed of a parking ban by phone and the folks who would never know they could opt in to receive the phone calls.

So it’s not perfect yet. Baby steps.

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The Comments

You're the mayor, not the town crier January 21, 2011 at 6:05pm

Opt-in is really the only option that should be considered. Seconds count in true emergencies, and there is no way that robocalls will reach more people more quickly than the civil defence siren system.
Phone calls would be a great option for those with poor siren coverage, no tv, and no internet, and the fewer phone calls the robot mayor has to make, the faster those that truly are in the dark will be reached. Educating those folks to opt-in would be a far better solution than jamming up the phone lines for the superfluous sake of redundancy.

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