Roslyn trustees to talk parking meter problems, solutions at May meeting

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Roslyn trustees to talk parking meter problems, solutions at May meeting
While many parking spots require payment in downtown Roslyn, parking meters are often out of service and unable to provide tickets. (File photo)

The Village of Roslyn Board of Trustees will discuss the future of the downtown parking meters as well as a report studying the meters over two years.

At the May 15 meeting, trustees will consider a report by traffic engineer Gerald Giosa of Level G Associates.

According to village Clerk Anita Frangella, Giosa will offer several strategies to improve the parking meter system.

The study is available at Village Hall.

in the report dated April 4, Giosa said he has studied the meters since 2016 and has seen parking meter revenues decline significantly in 2017 compared with 2016, dropping about 44 percent, or $93,500.

In 2016, $212,469 was collected from cash and credit card payments, while only $118,973 was collected in 2017.

Revenues declined in both the cash and credit card payments, and Giosa said the similar decline for both payment methods suggests cash leakage is not a cause of the revenue decline.

This year, however, revenue is improving. Revenue for the first quarter this year was $41,762 compared with $31,359 last year, an increase of about 33 percent.

During the first quarter of 2016, $54,543 was collected.

Though the meters are currently in effect seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Giosa said Friday and Saturday are the highest days for parking meter revenue with approximately 18.7 percent of all revenue collected on Fridays and 26.5 percent on Saturdays.

During the rest of the week, Thursdays showed the highest revenue with 13.6 percent, or $16,180, during October 2017.

In the study, Giosa said the 10-minute grace period ticket, which is free, could be the primary cause of revenue decline.

When he compared collections from a Wednesday in March 2016 when no grace period was offered to a similar Wednesday in March 2018 since the implementation of the free 10-minute ticket, a 40 percent reduction in revenue was seen despite a similar number of tickets being issued.

In 2016, a 15-minute ticket was an option for 25 cents.

In the 2016 data, 642 tickets were given and $681.20 was collected; in 2018, 652 tickets were given and $410.75 was collected. Of the tickets issued, 308 were for the free 10-minute option.

“In addition, the fact that 308 of the 652 transactions on March 4, 2018, were of the 10 minute ‘free’ variety suggests that the grace period policy is being abused by parkers who are pulling multiple ‘free’ tickets to avoid paying a parking fee,” Giosa said in the study.

The total of tickets for a brief period of time increased from 157 in 2016 for the 15-minute tickets to 352 in 2018 for the 10-minute tickets.

“If the village were to consider eliminating the 10 minute grace period but allowing free parking on Sundays, the net effect would probably be a parking revenue increase of about $80,000 per year,” Giosa said.

Beyond eliminating the 10-minute grace period, Giosa suggested adding a few free parking spaces throughout the village that are only usable for quick trips, changing the machines to a pay-by-plate system where the same driver can’t get multiple free tickets or change the hours of metered parking to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“This strategy allows free parking for morning errands such as stopping at the post office, picking up a prescription or grabbing a cup of coffee,” Giosa said.

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