Dagblad Zaanstreek, 29 July 2015: 'Elders collect signatures against digital parking system'
“‘We want the cards back'
Residents in Zaandam Oud West collected 300 signatures against the new digital system for parking permits in a few days. Ninety-five per cent of people are against it, they say.
,,I am walking towards eighty, I have sore hands and sore feet. So after going past the doors for a few hours, I'm pretty tired. But I put up with it. Because this is a big problem," says Ans Suurland from the Statenhoek flat. Together with Joanne Bakker - 'old, not elderly' - and fellow resident Gre de Jong, she collected some two hundred signatures in a few days. ,,We do it for the many elderly people in this neighbourhood who can no longer take action themselves. Because this is really not acceptable. We want the cards back!"
In early June, Zaanstad abolished paper parking permits for visitors. From now on, residents of parking permit areas (Russische Buurt, Oud West, Spoorstrook and Nieuw West in Zaandam) have to activate digital permits. Not doable, residents think. The digital age has not yet arrived for everyone. "I have no computer, no tablet and no smartphone either," says Ans Suurland.
Moreover, the system, with its ever-changing login codes, is cumbersome. And the alternative for the computerless - telephone contact with an automated system - does not work well. Bakker: "That voice keeps breaking off halfway through."
For the very old, like the residents of Saenden nursing home, it seems an impossible task at all. "Should the carers then go and do it?"
Another major objection is privacy. This is also the opinion of Wijkoverleg Oudwest, which will receive the signatures. For the visitors' permit, residents must enter which license plate number parks in their street on which day. Even if that information is only stored for a limited time, it is still with the government. Privacy is violated considerably. Frankly, I find that unacceptable," says neighbourhood consultation chairman Geert Spiering.
Some local residents think it should come to a court case. This could be done through legal expenses insurance. Or with help from the Amsterdam-based foundation Privacy First, which has serious criticism of the Zaan system. "We will discuss this in the board," Spiering said.
There are now a total of three hundred signatures. Spiering: "It seems that the Russian Neighbourhood is also bothered by it, but no collection is taking place there yet." According to the women, almost everyone signs immediately.(...)"
Source: Dagblad Zaanstreek, 29 July 2015. Also read Dagblad Zaanstreek, 11 July 2015: Privacy First Foundation strongly criticises Zaanstad's new parking ticket system.