Tonight’s Newark City Council Vote Could Change How Drivers Park In Downtown

On Monday the Newark City Council will take a vote on a plan to move city parking lots to prepaid parking.

Although the council has yet to take a final vote on the plan the city’s parking attendants have reportedly been told that their positions will be eliminated.

Under the plan, drivers would be required to estimate how long they would be in the lot and prepay for parking. Drivers will be allowed to add additional time via a smartphone, however,  those that let the time expire will be fined by parking ambassadors patrolling the lots using a license plate scanner.

Currently, drivers that park at city lots pay at a kiosk or at parking attendant booth when they are ready to leave. Drivers that get in and out of a city lot within 10 minutes currently do not have to pay for parking. It’s not clear if the free 10-minute rule would be feasible given that drivers would have to prepay if the plan is approved.

Drivers that are picking up food orders, dropping off packages, and just grabbing cash at an ATM would now likely have to prepay for parking.

From the proposal

“License Plate Recognition Enforcement and MultiSpace Parking Kiosks 

Purpose of Ordinance Amendments and Resolutions to Parking On April 29th, 2019, City Council voted for solesource providers for vehicle license plate recognition, multi-space parking kiosks, and paybyapp technology to add to and replace the Citys current onstreet and offstreet parking platforms in preparation for the loss of public parking during the Main Street Rehabilitation and Lang-Hyatt Hotel projects in Municipal Lot #3.

These new technologies were a cheaper and more easily managed alternative to single-space parking meters. While multi-space kiosks will allow for new payment features to our parking system, they also present new challenges that need to be addressed prior to their installation and activation. In areas where parking kiosks are being added, multiple ordinance amendments and resolutions are required to allow for on-street parking for patrons.

In these on-street instances, maps are provided for each street or parking zone, where ordinance amendments and resolutions are being requested. In addition to on-street ordinance amendments, there are proposals for off-street parking lot amendments, as traditionally much of the decision-making for off-street parking came from the City Manager and Parking Committees. As the City moves forward with multi-space parking, off-street lots will remove their gates and adopt an on-street style of parking. The method of vehicle parking in these off-street lots will be a key component of Newark’s parking enforcement.

As license plate recognition functions through visually reading the license plate against lists of what vehicles have paid the multi-space parking kiosks, Delaware’s lack of front-license plates presents further challenges in parking lots. In addition to this challenge, language needs to be added to existing code that clearly states what the rates of these off-street lots are, even to keep rates as they currently are. “

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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