Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WILKES-BARRE — A more than year-old study done by a potential vendor showed the “hidden value” in the city’s parking meters. But the city is no longer interested and won’t see the increased revenue from using the company’s automated technology.
The pilot program conducted in late 2011 by StreetSmart Technology LLC put more parkers at the 45 meters involved in the program and boosted the daily revenue at the downtown spots.
“It proved that there is hidden value in the system,” Drew McLaughlin, city municipal affairs manager, said Friday.
However, the city held off on committing to use the company’s automated technology while it pursued a long-term lease of the parking assets in conjunction with the Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority for a minimum of $20 million to pay down debt and for infrastructure improvements and public safety.
Lancaster PA is a fairly progressive community that is embracing a modern technology to make permit parking easier for everyone.
Lancaster has 19 residential parking areas throughout the city. Administration of the program is taking a giant leap forward that will make life better for everyone involved and save money. Instead of issuing yearly parking stickers, the city will start issuing permanent parking stickers that will only need replaced if you sell your vehicle. Most people keep a vehicle for at least four years so think of the savings right there! There were nearly 2,500 stickers being issued every year.
The new stickers will be affixed to the right side of the vehicle’s rear window. They will be round, orange and have a barcode. The barcode will contain all the information parking enforcement needs to know about you and your vehicle. This information will be available using the same technology as having your groceries scanned at the local supermarket. Hand-held units will read the easy to find barcode and make enforcement a snap.
About 90 percent of all permit parking permit renewals have already been paid for 2011. The low $20 fee pays for the administration of the program. The fee has remained at $20 since 2003.
At the last Borough Council meeting it was announced that the Police Department has hired two part-time “Parking Enforcement” officers. Here we go again….
It is hard enough to attract people downtown to patronize businesses without adding over zealous parking police into the mix. Parking downtown is not for the faint of heart to begin with thanks to Mr. Hylton’s back-in diagonal parking.
Parking downtown should be FREE! Parking at the mall is free. Why do you think people go there instead? If we are trying to attract shoppers and restaurant patrons downtown this is an ass-backwards approach IMHO.
The small amount of money this generates, to cover the cost of two part-time people and a few thousand dollars into borough coffers, is a drop in the bucket compared to what customers will spend downtown on goods and services.