The city of Ferndale will begin a one-year pilot program May 1 that aims to address the parking concerns of residents who live close to the downtown area.
Under the program, the city will post signs on Troy and Saratoga streets that restrict parking to two hours, and enforcement hours will increase from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Residents on these streets will now be able to get a permit from the city exempting them from the rule.
Ferndale City Manager April McGrath said residents in that area have become increasingly frustrated with the parking situation as the downtown area grows in popularity.
"It's been kind of like a slow boiling problem and the last couple of years it's becoming very frustrating for the residents," she said.
McGrath said some residents on Troy and Saratoga have been ticketed for parking on the street.
"Currently there's already two-hour parking - it's hard to enforce it though because you end up giving the residents a ticket," she said. "This will allow them to be exempt from the two-hour parking."
Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said she believes the pilot program is "one piece of the puzzle" for working on parking in Ferndale.
"I think it's good to see if it helps to resolve some of those residential concerns," she said. "And as a pilot it's a good learning tool to see if it's what you would want to implement everywhere. I think this is one of many things that have to be improved."
Sheppard-Decius said parking volume issues in the central business district are also important to address. "The residential component is important but you can't have one and not the other," she said.
Notification letters about the new program were mailed to residents on Troy and Saratoga on Monday.
Councilman Dan Martin said Monday that he thinks the plan is a positive step toward alleviating the concerns of the residents in that area. "I think it's a good step forward," Martin said. "I highly encourage people on both streets to participate."
Residents on Troy between Allen and Farmdale, and Saratoga between Woodward and Allen, should apply for a parking permit or attend an informational meeting from 6-7 p.m. April 25 at City Hall. Residents seeking a permit will need to provide proof of residence and vehicle registration.
For more information, contact Ferndale City Hall.