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Picton parking pay stations approved

UPDATE May 23: Pay stations approved ($225,000 in 2017 budget). Picton Main parking will be $1 per hour and Market Lane .50 cents an hour.

BIA request for two-hour free parking denied. Just 30 per cent of BIA members responded to a parking survey in February. Of those, 50 per cent wanted two hour free parking. Approximately five per cent of BIA members attended a meeting in April to hear more on parking options.

Picton parking should be traditional or high-tech?

May 11 – The decision to have traditional parking meters or high-tech pay and display machines downtown Picton will be discussed at council’s next meeting.

At Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, council received a staff report recommending placing pay stations downtown and in the Market Square parking lot with free parking to continue at the Mary Street and King Street lots.

The installation of 11 pay stations would replace 84 single parking meters and 50 posts on Main Street before the construction. Beyond the construction limits on Walton, Elizabeth, Ross and King streets, there would be an additonal eight pay stations replacing the remaining 45 parking meters. Three pay stations are proposed for the Market Lane lot.

The $225,000 capital purchase of pay stations was included in the proposed 2017 budget. Council approved the expenditure but requested a staff report to outline projections for operating and cost recovery timelines.

The cost of replacing the older meters currently in storage was part of construction costs with the downtown revitalization project. It is estimated cost recovery for new pay and display machines would be about five years.

Discussion Thursday included Picton BIA member input, historical significance of parking meters and conveniences of the new technology.

Councillor Lenny Epstein, a representative on the BIA, said the group didn’t have much time to consult with members, but did do a parking survey. He proposed the deferral of the issue to the next council meeting to include input from the BIA’s report.

Epstein said 70 per cent of respondents were in favour of continuing two-hour free parking and raising fines to discourage BIA members and staff from parking in spots that should be open for customers.

Councillor Kevin Gale said he doesn’t support free parking so traffic would keep flowing.

He finds meters more accessible and fit better with the heritage of downtown, but is willing to hear more from the BIA before making a final decision.

Councillor Steve Graham likes the idea of pay stations that allow people to use their phone, or credit card to pay.

“I know when I’m at a pay and display I just hit the ‘max’ parking time and maybe that will get us some more revenue. I also like that I can go to other areas of town using the same ticket.”

Commissioner Robert McAuley explained that the pay stations allow shoppers to top up their parking from within a store using their smart phones.

“The equipment is smart phone enabled. They are also programmable to be manipulated for seasonality, or time of day” or reduced rates on special occasions, whereas the old meters are either on, or off.

Councillor Brad Nieman wanted to know how bylaw enforcement knows people have paid if they don’t have to display a ticket.

“There’s an app for that,” said McAuley. “monitoring with licence plate numbers to access the transactions.”

The machines are solar powered with battery backup using wireless communication for on-line, real time credit card approvals and communication with user software. Customers can use a printed ticket to display, or pay using a mobile device which allows payment by plate number.

In 2015, revenue generated from parking meters was $78,000 with fines and penalties adding another $28,000.

The change from single meters to pay stations is projected to increase revenue by approximately $150 per space. With 120 street parking spaces, that would increase revenue by $18,000 with the existing rate of 75 cents per hour.

The report proposes the rate for street parking be increased to $1 per hour which could increase revenue by $6,000 – enough to cover the increase in annual operating costs. About $55 per station per month ($14,520 annually) is added for monitoring and maintenance.

The pay stations in the Market Lane lot, could be set at 50 cents per hour, (half the street parking rate) and based on a 45 per cent occupancy rate for 48 weeks could generate approximately $51,000 with a ticket revenue projected at $8,600 annually.

The proposal notes accessible parking spaces would no longer be metered. Street parking would maintain the two-hour limit. Parking at Market Lane would have no limit.

Discussion of fine and parking rates would come forward at a later date, though increases aren’t foreseen for 2017. Any increase must be approved by the province.

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  1. Marnie says:

    If only local residents received as much consideration as the tourists.

  2. wevil says:

    very few tourists are given parking tickets they can tell from their license plate number if they are from here or not the county does not want to offend the tourists

  3. Marnie says:

    Newsflash, Louise. The Mary Street lot is often full in summer and for seniors with mobility issues it is a fair distance to Main Street, especially if you are carrying packages.Parking in Picton is inadequate especially during the tourist season.

  4. Dave says:

    I wouldn’t worry about not having a smart phone—they will accept good old fashioned cash or credit cards as well

  5. Louise says:

    I also don’t have a SMART phone, but there is free parking available on Mary Street & King Street. It’s a short walk (1 block) from either of those places, and Mary St parking now has a crosswalk. Some of the places on Main St also have parking in the back. There are options. I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Most tourists come from the larger cities, where parking is a heck of a lot more than what Picton is going to charge, so I don’t think it will detour them from stopping to shop. And as mentioned, there are free options for those who don’t want to pay.

  6. Adam Ant says:

    With talk about post office parking lot. At Solbys lot you have persons parking in the fire lanes even at the ramp for wheel chairs. Parking in the lined area etc. Who monitors this and writes tickets. I see the Belleville police doing it at the Quinte Mall.
    I will say again have the by law officers work 7 days a week, ticket persons who are parking in no parking areas and charge for parking 7 days a week. If they are responsible for Solbeys start doing their job.Have the officers travel from Picton to Bloomfield to Wellington on a regular schedule because all 3 centers have parking problems 7 days a week. This will increase revenue plus make each community safer.
    Tourist when told that a parking ticket is $7 they laugh and say they will pay the fine and park all day, they come from areas where parking tickets are $50 plus.

  7. wevil says:

    some people think that everyone has a smart phone i don’t have one i can and will shop where parking is free

  8. kevin says:

    Does the Post Office actually enforce those signs on the exterior walls about parking? Seems the downtown restaurant goers, shoppers and sight-seers, both local and tourist are filling that parking lot, otherwise designated for Canada Post. Is anyone ever able to park in there who is actually using the post office?

  9. Ken Globe says:

    Two spots Doris. And there is enough space in each of those two spots for motorcycles to park, who would normally take up a whole space.

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Re Parking in Picton
    Why is the restaurant across from CIBC allowed to take up 3 badly needed parking in that area?

  11. Adam Ant says:

    James hits it on the head.Last year the council stated that because of lack of parking in Picton they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a lot on King St for parking. that is fine. But then they allow the Canteen two parking spots for their patio, what is that all about. Reviewing the by law that allows for sidewalk patios I see that the Canteen is breaking the bylaw by allowing a sign to sit on the walking area of their patio. But of course who is going to enforce this by law.The by law people work Mon to Fri 9-5 so any by laws that need to be monitored are not.
    Now Wellington has a Main St patio. I hope and wish every business on our Main St apply for patio permits then council may realize what a monster they have created.
    From what I can see from the by law no patio permit can be denied.

  12. Marnie says:

    You’re right Chuck. The Sobey’s parking lot is a congested mess. Picton lacks parking and it’s fine to say ‘park on King or Mary Streets and walk but for lots of seniors it’s just too far. The King Street lot is great but it is not easy to cross the street over to Benson Park in order to reach Main. There is a lot of traffic on King and it’s hazardous for older people trying to cross there. In tourist season parking is a nightmare.

  13. Chuck says:

    What I do know is there are far too many vehicles in Picton. It is at a point that is a serious health & safety issue. The Sobeys parkibg lot is just beyond bizarre!

  14. james says:

    What is all this concern about a lack of parking spaces? If this is really the case, then why is council approving a loss of parking by permitting ‘street patios’ such as on Main St. Picton (County Brew Pub), on Main St. Wellington (Stache on Main St.), bicycle business (Bloomfield Bicycle) grabbing parking spots in Bloomfield?

    If there are too few parking spaces, then do not permit these constructions across sidewalks and into the road, making dangerous situations for pedestrians, some of whom use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. On Saturday I observed a father and two children on bicycles try to navigate around tables on Picton’s north sidewalk as they could not use the roadway due to construction.

    If someone is forced into the street and is injured, I can envision a massive lawsuit.

    What jumbled thinking:
    ‘We have too little parking, but go ahead and build into the street’.

    ‘We are under a state of emergency, but tourists please come anyway as we will miss your money’.

    And the Beat Goes On …………….

  15. Marnie says:

    The county is supposedly a community with a high population of seniors. I expect it is fair to say that many of them do not have smart phones, Gary. As for charging more at certain times of the year – where does it end? People are being nickled and dimed at every turn. Shopping outside the county looks more appealing all the time. Metered parking in Wellington is just one more way of encouraging people to go elsewhere.

  16. Jack Smith says:

    We don’t need meters at all. It’s just another way for the GREEDY COUNTY TO MAKE MONEY. I am surprised no one has come up with the idea of putting meters up on the heights. Leave the County alone it is ruined enough. The mess up with the Royal Hotel and those so called traffic light system that was installed to control the traffic while repairs are being done. I have seen better kids matchbox car layouts set up better than that.

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    With pay-and-display parking stations, the County would have lots of flexibility in how it charges for parking, as outlined in the artice.

    It would make sense to extend parking charges to Wellington, which now has a severe parking problem in summer.Parking charges in Wellington could be seasonal — charged in summer, free in winter.

    There could be surge pricing in Picton and Wellington, with higher charges in the busiest periods. Parking could be shown on the machines as prohibited during the period just before a parade.

    Pay-and-display, with access via a smartphone app, offers a lot of benefits with few, if any, disadvantages.

  18. Emily says:

    The County doesn’t own the bridges or ferry so any toll is out of the question. And going back a topic or two, it is probably not politically correct to call bylaw enforcement officers “maids”. Lol

  19. Marnie says:

    You’re comparing apples and oranges, Argyle. Bloomfield and Wellington have only a few stores and in the winter months when the tourists are not here to buy the ice cream and keep the trendy restaurants busy traffic decreases noticeably. Some of these places are seasonal. Picton has its share of eateries but it also offers a number of other stores and business places that are patronized year-round. Why urbanize picturesque villages like Bloomfield and Wellington? These are the places that people visit to get away from it all, parking meters and meter maids included. You would make more money if you charged a toll fee at the bridges and on Glenora Ferry.

  20. Argyle says:

    Apparently during councils debate on metered parking in Picton, there was no mention of charging for parking in Bloomfield or Wellington. All urban areas need to have metered parking, not just one. If not, then parking should be ” no charge ” everywhere.

  21. james says:

    Guess I am in part making the same point as does Marnie.

  22. james says:

    @ Gilles: Right on! How are meters historically more significant when about 40 years ago there was angle parking rather than the more recent parallel parking with meters on Main St. Picton? Isn’t the angle parking more historically significant? Perhaps we should return to horse-and-buggy, no meters, angle parking.

    I also think that demanding historical significance for reconstructing The Royal Hotel caused Coach’s to be closed from April 19 – May 19, putting at least 11 people out of work and costing 2 people their apartment? All of this aggro came on top of thousands of dollars lost during street reconstruction with a number of businesses going under to no longer pay taxes. Perhaps a little research should be required before jumping on the “Historical Reconstruction” horse-and-buggy. The number one question would be: can The Royal be ‘safely’ reconstructed? Those people who argued for “Historical Reconstruction” should take an embarrassed bow.

  23. Marnie says:

    Historically significant parking meters?? Why not go back to hitching rails common in horse and buggy days. I have yet to see an aesthetically pleasing parking meter much less an historical one. If the town decided to go high tech I suppose they could always sell off the old meters as valuable antiques.

  24. Taxpayer says:

    Someone mentioned the rotary phone analogy…I have gone through no less than 5 “modern” cordless phones and that many again cellphones… I have also added coins to expired meters for strangers when I see the meter maid coming…I can’t be the only one that’s done this…hopefully the merchants get polled on this as many of their customers would currently park for free at market square…you know, the same merchants that took a huge hit from all the construction already…

  25. Chuck says:

    Like the rotary phone. Original, fitting with the past, County like etc.

  26. gilles says:

    Now my interest is piqued. The “historical significance of parking meters”???

  27. Chuck says:

    Walking the beat in downtown Belleville for the new chief! To turn right off of Walton, (you all know the maze) you have to impede the crosswalk. The old Bell telephone booth in front of Tim Hortons obstructs the view of traffic. Tim’s has their very own traffic light for God’s sake, they could give up the phone booth.

  28. Adam Ant says:

    I am not clear if the OPP enforce parking when the by law officer are off, not likely that is too below them.But I believe that they enforce the Highway traffic act. So why do they not stop when they see vehicles parked less that 30 feet from an intersection or less that 30 feet from a cross walk or 3 feet from the edge of a paved road when parked.This is the highway traffic act. I can not tell you how many times when someone has parked at the Regent crosswalk to go in to get their tickets a coffee what ever, some one crosses with out pushing the walk button and walks out in front of me because that parked car has blocked a clear view of the cross walk, or how many times I had to inch out of an intersection to see a car barreling down on me because some one has parked right at the corner and blinded me. Or the person who parks right on the edge of the road then throws their door open right when I am passing them.
    It will be interesting to see if the new commander of the OPP will walk the walk and get his officers out of their rides, do some walking of a beat etc. He already has said his may mission is safety.
    Of course one of the past commanders has stated the walking a beat is the old way of policing.I will have to remember this the next time I see a cop walking a beat in New York, Seattle,Chicago, Kingston and even Stirling when I travel to these places. Of course you may not see it in Stirling any more if the OPP take over.

  29. Marnie says:

    The root of the problem seems to be too much traffic for the available space. The county is no longer Ontario’s best kept secret and this is the fall-out.

  30. Dave says:

    parking problems—check out Lake on the Mountain any weekend—they park on the no parking signs on the pavment. Only time before some pedestrian gets killed there with the cars going by and not slowing down.

  31. Adam Ant says:

    The Enforcement Officers need to be working 7 days a week in the summer. The return tourist now know that you can park in Picton all day on weekends without paying and are not ticketed. They will park in parking and no parking spots. I think that the officers should be given a vehicle and cycle through Picton Bloomfield Wellington all day. Go into the Solbey parking lot to ticket all the people who park in the fire lanes etc. At present our parking enforcement leaves little to desire. The OPP are above such tasks as parking.

  32. Susan says:

    Just use your smart phone.

  33. Margaret says:

    Personally I would prefer no parking fees, it is not friendly shopping for Picton businesses! Secondly, being disabled, paying stations are sure not enabling shopping in the downtown area if I have to walk to obtain a parking pass and then walk back and place it in my car.

  34. A.Koning says:

    What about the disabled? Who can not walk a distance?

  35. Paul Cole says:

    Well Marnie it would offer employment to two or three people which would be covered hopefully by revenue generated by parking infractions and possibly open up parking spaces as people may choose to park a little farther from the downtown core to avoid paying for parking and possible fines. It can’t hurt to at least try it for a couple years in Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield.

  36. Marnie says:

    And we wonder why people shop in Belleville. The so-called commercial areas of Bloomfield and wellington are not that large. Bloomfield is losing its bank if you recall. Is it really worth it to hire a meter maid to walk the streets of these villages?

  37. Susan says:

    You have to have paid parking in the commercial area or cars wouldn’t move. I support adding it to Bloomfield and Wellington. Why wouldn’t we?

  38. Dave says:

    Increase the parking fines–the firt time I got a $7.00 parking ticket I laughed out loud. Should be at least $10.00 if not higher–just to cover the meter maids costs.

  39. Paul Cole says:

    It seems anything that may discourage a tourist from returning or coming to The County is taboo thus the reasoning for Main St road work being done in the tourist off season. Inconvenience for local residents is totally acceptable.

    Lets hope either way high tech or traditional, parking violations will be enforced fully if that means hiring additional Enforcement Officers so be it come on County Council do the right thing…

  40. Marnie says:

    You forget to propose parking meters for Milford and Cherry Valley. There could be money to be made with meters in Demorestville too. The county needs to figure out how to stop spending on non-essentials instead of adding new ways to nickle and dime people.

  41. Fred says:

    Is parking free in Bloomfield & Wellington?

  42. gilles miramontes says:

    Parking meters or pay stations? Let’s call the whole thing off.

  43. Argyle says:

    Paid parking needs to be enforced across all municipalities, ( Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington ). No exceptions !

  44. Chris Keen says:

    Whatever Council decides, the same solution should be used in Bloomfield and Wellington as well. The County needs revenue wherever it can be found.

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