• Parking “sensors” to be explored to control timed lots

    A comprehensive report by Planning staff to outline upgrades in current paid parking plans for the downtown and Lovers Point areas became a battle cry once again. The report, which was requested by City Council, outlined the areas in question and gave comparisons of plans in other areas and other cities. But Mayor Garcia said it was more than was requested – that she had sought a two-page report. The entire agenda item was 31 pages long, 14 pages of which was a potential Request For Proposals for an outside vendor to examine the program and oversee installation of parking sensors, among other duties.

    There was no mention in the report of parking meters along Lighthouse Avenue or Ocean View Blvd., and no increase in the number of time-restricted spaces, but rather the report was directed, as requested, at the potential of installing pay stations at current timed lots between Fandango restaurant and the Bank of America and the lot behind Lighthouse Cinemas on Fountain Avenue. Nonetheless, there were a number of members of the public who were unhappy about the prospect of pay-to-park spaces downtown.

    Currently, there are a number of public lots as well as private ones in downtown Pacific Grove. On-street parking ranges from one hour to two hours in the downtown area. At the American Tin Cannery, there is metered parking on Eardley, Sloat and Ocean View as well as timed, paid parking behind the ATC. Customers may park there for $10 to visit the Aquarium or free if they patronize the American Tin Cannery shops and restaurants, though it was mistakenly reported at the city council meeting that parking there costs $20 in any case.

    The staff plan suggested that 80 percent of parking revenue be dedicated to public improvements and services within the downtown area only. Such improvements might include trash cans, park benches, funding intersection improvements, pedestrian amenities, street cleaning and maintenance, signage and other amenities which would improve the appearance of downtown.

    The report also suggested that sensors for timed parking spaces be examined, particularly at Lovers Point and nearby areas. The latest in technology, such sensors are based on GPS systems and are placed under the pavement. They would sense when a vehicle entered a parking space and then would alert the parking enforcement staff when the allotted time was up.

    Parking enforcement officers would track the timed spaces on a computer screen and would then be able to issue citations, a much more efficient and environmentally-sensitive system than the current one, where parking enforcement staff drives around town and marks tires and attempts to return to check marks within the 90-minute or two-hour time allotment.

    In the end, the council voted not to examine any of the other suggestions but only to send out the RFP to bring back a vendor that would install parking sensors solely at Lovers Point.

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on December 16, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News

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