How much gratitude would this bring to you if it happened to you? I read an article recently (it is a little old now – it was written July 2009) regarding the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It seemed they conducted a little experimenting with Parking Tickets and Thank You notes.
When parking meter time expires, and cars are still in their parking places, Chapel Hill, just like many other municipalities, usually issues parking tickets; Each ticket resulted in a fine of $15. Of all cars ticketed, one-third of them are first-time offenders. However, town officials decided to try something unique: first time parking offenders will receive a “Thank You” note.
“First-time parking meter violators in and around Franklin Street won’t find a citation on their windshield if their meter runs out.
Instead, they’ll find a note, saying “Thank you for visiting downtown Chapel Hill.”
On Wednesday the town began a “courtesy ticket” program that dismisses first-time violators’ $15 citation.”
The city stands to lose over $12,300 in revenues that were lost becuase of the uncollected fines. However, they will most likely see a rise in visitors and shoppers that come back. In the city that UNC-Chapel Hill calls home, this simple act says to parents, relative, visitors, tourists, and shoppers, “Thanks for coming and you are welcome to come back!!” I bet this filled the town with more gratitude!
Unfortunately, I did not see any follow-up reports on how this did or did not work. I would like to speculate that it is still in place, but with the economy being the way it is, you never know!
The Gratitude Guru