During Monday night’s Ferndale City Council meeting, council approved a new pilot program enforcing resident-restricted parking zones on West Saratoga and West Troy streets in Ferndale.
The pilot program will run through April 30, 2013, and regulate parking each day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., ticketing vehicles that park on those streets for more than a two-hour period and do not have a designated resident sticker.
Councilman Dan Martin explained that the city, in partnership with Downtown Development Authority and with feedback of residents, looked at the longstanding complaint of parking in those areas, particularly the overflow of long-term parking that isn’t being done by residents.
The pilot program was designed as an attempt to address these issues over the course of the next year, he said.
Councilman Martin reinforced the idea that the pilot program engages residents' feedback, including a pre-survey for residents to complete, the hearing and an evaluation period afterward.
“This is not by any means a solution to the overall parking situation within the city itself, but it is a step forward in addressing residents' concerns. It’s not the perfect solution, but I think it’s a good one to help alleviate congestion in those areas.”
The program features include the two-hour parking limits enforced, though it does not guarantee residents a parking spot on the streets. Business customers parking in residential areas would likely be the target of tickets.
City Attorney Daniel Christ also added that the pilot program would allow for council’s consideration to include other streets that council, the city manager or petitioning residents bring up in the future.
Residents of particular neighborhoods in Ferndale are able to petition for a similar parking district, providing that 65 percent of the residents in the affected area are in agreement.
Luke Forrest, a Ferndale resident who lives on West Troy Street, addressed council to bring up the concern of visitor parking. He suggested guest permits in the pilot program or ordinance.
“We have a shared drive that can only accommodate one car for our household. We frequently have out-of-town guests that stay for multiple days and that could potentially be a problem,” he explained, citing other successful guest permit programs, such as in Royal Oak.
“I just want to make sure you consider the ordinance have some provisions for guest permits in some factor.”
The draft of this ordinance does not have guest provisions, Christ commented, though the council can make an amendment to address the issue at any meeting.
Councilwoman Melanie Piana echoed that the program will be evaluated as it progresses, to make appropriate changes or considerations.
Mayor David Coulter expressed his appreciation for the pilot program, thanking Councilman Martin for his work on the project that first came up two years ago.
“For us, this is a significant step forward that we’ve been looking forward to. I especially like the part of evaluation so see if we’re actually making a difference or not, instead of just throwing something out there,” Coulter said. “I look forward to the results.”
A follow-up hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for members of the public to voice their concerns and learn more about the pilot program. The meeting will be 6-7 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall chambers.