New Paltz considering parking pay app

The public hearing regarding eliminating free parking on Sundays in New Paltz is held open until July 11. (By Lauren Thomas)

Parking in the village of New Paltz could soon get a tech boost, without replacing the tried-and-true mechanical meters. The Whoosh! app, already in use in Kingston and soon to be debuted on the SUNY campus, may become an alternative for parking payment in the village, as well.

The existing meters are mechanical, and it’s expensive to change the amount being collected. However, overlying the Whoosh! app on the meter system would allow users to receive notices when time is nearly expired, and to renew from a mobile phone. Mayor Tim Rogers spoke with Kingston officials, who advised that the app was only down one day in the past year. Even then, it’s still possible to use the meters.

Advertisement

The location of the user when making initial payment is the datum used to determine which spot is being used, Rogers said, but virtually adding more coins can be done from anywhere until the hours limit for that spot is reached. Using the app — for which the driver is charged 35 cents an hour — means a car might be legally parked next to an expired meter. Village parking enforcement officers will be able to verify who’s paid up using their existing handheld devices.

Once the system is in place, it could allow for flexible pricing options, such as providing discounts to village residents.

In the Plattekill Avenue lot a new solar-powered kiosk will be installed. Made by the Whoosh! manufacturer, it’s compatible with the app and will also accept coins and credit card payments. The kiosk will cost $11,323, with an additional $323 setup fee which Rogers found competitive with similar technology. In addition to 35 cents an hour to the user, the makers of Whoosh! will also be collecting a $57 monthly fee from taxpayers.

There is one comment

  1. Successful Downtowns

    The best thing New Paltz could do, and it would benefit downtown employees, downtown visitors, toursim and business access overall ( = growth of downtown business, jobs and revenue) is to re-develop the surface parking lot on Plattekill Ave, adjacent to the Starbucks retail builidng, into a
    3-story structure designed with brick, casement windows, awnings and new landscaping fronting
    the street, which would contain 2-3 levels of public paid parking, giving us more than 300 parking
    spaces steps away from all of our downtown attractions.

    The actual footprint would remain the same, taking up no more space than the current surface lot,
    the Plattekill street frontage would have an in and out entrance, and all parking would be behind the street facing part of the new building.

    Street-level would hold new retail space – probably 3 spaces total – the second and possible third floor street-facing spaces could hold professional / research office space on floor 2 and on floor 3 would be several new residential condominiums set back from the front elevation by terraces.
    This housing would preferably ‘for sale’ to non-student residents to ensure a higher quality of
    residential development; most likely 8-10 residences.

    Beyond the initial investment – New Paltz would do a private-public partnership where the parking
    revenue goes to the town/village – would generate revenue to cover the town’s investment (plus real estate and sales taxes); the sale prices of residential and office space would go to a developer partner.

    New Paltz suffers greatly from “tooth gap” pedestrian spaces; which in land-use terms are
    continuous interruptions in the pedestrian street-scape created by excessive, outdated surface parking lots which are frequently poorly designed, create vast amounts of rainwater runoff, and
    bizarre moments of pedestrian crossing, as well as helping to create pockets of blight. We see this all along Main Street and Rt 32 corridors.

    The success of thousands of downtowns and their resugence is created by ‘in-fill’ development
    such as this concept for a parking/retail/residential structure.

    The land-profile of the site slopes in such a way that a high quality excavation and design build
    scenario actually places the first two levels of parking at or below current grade on Platekill, with
    most likely one-story above grade and all levels of parking “invisible” from the street frontage
    because of new retail and residential/office.

    Hopefully someone in the town will read this and say, “Oh, yeah, smart idea” we should pursue this. We need to re-focuse our vison for this town and its commercial areas from “No can do” to
    “We must do” because that’s the real way to reduce outward growth and sprawl, and re-adapt our literally dozens of surface paking lots and ABANDONED commercial properties.

    All roads into New Paltz are literally littered with these 1950s and 1960s style un-used commercial sites. The key is fillin in, builidng up a story or two, and getting new high quality building stock onto the tax roles and creating new jobs and new opportunities.

    We aren’t doing it the proper way right now – we can’t even pave Main Street, decide on a town
    office building, new bus station and so many other critical needs to improve how our town and its infrastructure work.

    Yeah, we’re kind of “cute” in some areas, but much of what we give to OURSELVS and how we show up to the world is outdated, under-utilized, peeling paint on store fronts, empty store fronts where there shouldn’t be, grafiti on empty buildings and as much as we “talk” about being
    eco-friendly, smart planners, a small town atmosphere…we are anything but…too much NIMBY yields nothing but pockets of blight and right now we have them dotting our commercial core.

    Let’s hop into the 21st Century and get focused and stop fooling around.

Post Your Thoughts