The BOA has approved capital bonding for new parking meter heads with today's technology to replace mechanical meters and allow for "dynamic parking" rates, credit card acceptance, much lower maintenance costs, and many other benefits. Below is a Memo to Aldermen with an update and map from Jim Travers, interim director of Transportation, Traffic & Parking, which hopefully will clear up confusion regarding the proposal to extend meter times downtown. I'm confident all changes will include collaboration with and be in the best interest of the many City stakeholders, residents, and New Haven tax payers:
TO: Honorable Members of the Board of Aldermen
FROM: Jim Travers
RE: Parking Management Program
Update on proposed extended meter times
In an effort to clear up any confusion regarding the change in the parking meter times, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some questions and answers to various questions we have received in the office. I intend on meeting with area merchants and businesses to address their concerns prior to us presenting this plan to the Traffic Authority. I have also scheduled a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce on July 18th. We will make sure that we do ample outreach during the early summer. If you have any questions or if you are hearing additional concerns, please give me a call.
Q - Are you raising the hourly meter rates?
A – There is no plan on changing the meter rate at this time. The regular meter rate is $1.50 / hour.
Q - Then what exactly is changing with the parking meters?
A - The City is replacing approximately 1,000 meters with new “smart meters”. Smart meters are more flexible than traditional parking meters. The City will be able to better adjust the times of day when payment is required and the customer will be allowed to pay with a credit card.
Q - Where are you installing the new smart meters?
A - Mainly in the Downtown and at Union Station [see map below]. On-street parking meters represent only 13% of the available parking downtown. We are placing the new “smart meters” in a close geographical area around central downtown to make that addressed the most highly used area and keeping the meters together to make it easier for users to understand.
Q - When do I need to pay the meter?
A - In the Downtown and Union Station locations with new smart meters, Monday – Saturday, 8:00
am – 12:00 midnight. At all other meter locations, Monday – Saturday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm. Parking remains free Sunday’s and on the national holidays at all locations.
Q - Can I feed the meter for extra time?
A – No, all meters are subject to the time limits (eg- 1HR, 2HR, etc.), except, at the new smart meters, the parking limit maximum time will only be in effect until 5:00 p.m. After 5:00 p.m., visitors can pay the new “smart meters” for as much time as they wish, up to midnight. There will be no time limits at the smart meters after 5:00 p.m.
Q - Should I just park in a garage at night?
A – Public parking is available both on- and off-street. The majority of lots and garages have one price evening rates. The smart meters will still allow you to pay only for the time you need. For example, you can pay $1.50 for one hour, or pay for a total of 7 hours (after 5:00 p.m.) if you would like. This may be a better deal for the customer.