May 06, 2011

Ready or Not, Parking Kiosks are Coming

The coin-operated kiosks operate in two ways, depending on how they are programmed. Some accept coins and then print and shoot out a ticket, listing an expiration time. T

Ready or Not, Parking Kiosks are Coming - Haddonfield, NJ Patch

Ready or Not, Parking Kiosks are Coming
Meters will stay on Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue.
By Renee Winkler | Email the author | May 5, 2011

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Love them or hate them, parking kiosks will replace parking meters in lots and along some streets in Haddonfield by summer’s end.

Haddon Avenue and Kings Highway will keep meters, said Sharon McCullough, borough administrator. The first kiosks will be installed on Tanner Street when a repaving operation is completed.

“Tanner Street will be the test, the trial,” McCullough said.

The coin-operated kiosks operate in two ways, depending on how they are programmed. Some accept coins and then print and shoot out a ticket, listing an expiration time. The ticket, after purchase, is placed on the dashboard of a car. Rates will be 25 cents for 30 minutes. There is no left-over time to be used by another driver.

The other type of kiosk allows motorists to pay for a specific numbered parking space for time he chooses. That type eliminates the need for the motorist to return to his car with the validated ticket, but it requires the motorist to make a note of the space number. A second driver may sometimes pull into the space for the duration of the time.

Frank Mazza, whose Towne Barber Shop has been a feature on Tanner Street for 44 years, said he feels the kiosks will be just another expense for people already struggling in the economy.

“Business on this street has been hurting. This is one more cost,” said Mazza, who also operates a beauty salon on the second floor at 23 Tanner Streeet. “It makes it more expensive for everybody.”

“What do we need something new for? It’s a way for the town to make more money. With the meters someone else could pull in. Now they have to pay. It’s all about money for the town.

“The jobs that were here aren’t here anymore. Businesses closed and those customers moved on. Some store owners had to move because of the taxes. It’s tough out here,’’said Mazza.

There will be no five- or 12-minute grace period like now available on many of the borough’s meters. That feature was welcomed by motorists who needed to dart into a store or office to drop off or pick up an item.

“I’ll continue to keep a stack of quarters here,” said Gary Okulanis, who has operated American Classic Cabinet Company, L.L.C. for 11 years at 50 Tanner Street.

“It won’t hurt us. It won’t have any effect,” said Okulanis. “Our customers come here for an appointment. It’s a destination, and they come for two or three hours,” he said.

He said customers who visit his shop for two or three hours, usually to drop off samples, will adjust. “It’s the way parking is today,” Okulanis said.

Collette Oswald, whose photography studio is at 40 Tanner Street, wasn’t so blasé about the parking fee plan. “It’s confusing to some people. I don’t understand the motivation behind the change, but I’m not going to get all upset about it.”

Oswald said she supports the current practice of five or 12 minutes of free time, which is enough to park and drop off a package. She said she’s much more concerned about the lack of progress on paving Tanner Street, now afflicted, she said, “by potholes that are enough to kill a car.”

McCullough said the borough has authorized payment of $225,000 to purchase the meters. A supplier has not been chosen. The kiosks will be an outright purchase, not a lease, and the manufacturer will have to provide maintenance.

“We have the ability to partner in a consortium with Collingswood, but we want to be sure that’s the best plan,” she said.

The kiosks need less maintenance than meters. Each year, when the borough bags the top of meters during the Christmas shopping season for weeks of free parking, moisture builds up in the metal frame, causing condensation and often some damage. Batteries also need to be replaced regularly, McCullough said.

The borough’s meters were updated five or six years ago. Parking fees in the town generate $178,000 a year.

In addition to maintenance costs, a borough employee dedicates one day a week to collect the payments, tabulate them, and deposit them. The rest of the week, that employee, Steve Collins, works as the water meter foreman.

Kiosks on the street will be placed at every seven to 10 spaces. Two or three kiosks will be installed in borough lots, depending on the size of the lot, McCullough said.

The change from meters to kiosks will not effect the borough’s parking enforcement official, McCullough said. That employee now is also responsible for meter maintenance.

Once installed, the kiosks will be used for about 75 percent of the borough’s parking spots, including 500 in lots. No spaces will be eliminated.

Motorists pay to park in the business district Monday through Friday until 6 p.m. Hours are shortened on the portion of Haddon Avenue near the post office because of higher traffic during rush hours.

Motorists do not have to pay to park on weekends.

Haddonfield now has three grades of parking fees. Some meters, for short-term stays, are 5 cents for 7 minutes and 10 or 25 cents for 15 minutes. Five minutes are free with a push of a button on the meter.

Mid-term parking is available at some meters for up to three hours at 5 cents for 6 minutes, 10 cents for 12 minutes, and 25 cents for 30 minutes. There is a 12-minute grace period.

For long term parking, up to 12 hours, the rate is 5 cents for 12 minutes, 10 cents for 24 minutes, and 25 cents per hour.

Ready or Not, Parking Kiosks are Coming - Haddonfield, NJ Patch

Posted by staff at May 6, 2011 11:36 AM