Ferndale's new parking rates are now in effect and installation of the city's multi-space metering system is nearly complete.
The new parking rate is $1 per hour for on-street parking, 75 cents an hour in most lots, 50 cents an hour in one discounted lot, and $1 per hour in all lots after 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Enforcement times are now 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more details on the changes, see:
Here's an update from Chris Hughes, communications director at the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, on the changes in effect so far and what you can expect soon:
Hughes said installation is right on schedule for the new multi-space metering system. All of the pay stations should be fully installed by the end of this week.
Parking spaces are still being stickered with the ParkMobile numbers, Hughes said, so ParkMobile won't be fully operational until all of the spaces are stickered. That should happen sometime this week. You can still use ParkMobile in the meantime, but only for the on-street meters that are not connected to the multi-space pay stations.
How to get the word out
People can get help from workers in the lots specifically hired to help people get acquainted with the new system. Hughes said the city and the DDA have invested in Ambassadors, who will be in the lots during peak times to help people use the pay stations. "If they need [help], we are making every effort to provide it," she said.
Postcards are also being distributed to businesses and consumers that explain the system. "For the most part, once they get to the pay station it is self-explanatory -- follow the prompts," Hughes said.
Response so far
"It is going pretty good," Hughes said. The few concerns expressed so far have been helpful for city officials to see where there may be glitches to address. Hughes said in one case, someone expressed concern about having to wait in the rain to pay to park. Hughes explained that while the city could not afford shelters at every station, "that might come more into play in the future -- as we work to continually upgrade the system."
Other concerns have been about start-up glitches that are now resolved - i.e. no receipt or no space number printed on the receipt. "The crew was able to fix that and make it all work as intended," she said.
What else should people know?
The big key is to follow the prompts. "Walk up to the pay station, wake it up by touching any key and follow the prompts," Hughes says. She said the DDA appreciates everyone's patience as work continues to get the system fully up and running.
One thing residents may not realize is that there are 20 pay stations serving 900 meters, Hughes said. "Everything has to be in sync and sometimes that takes time," she said. "We knew it would and components are being brought up to speed on an hour by hour basis, literally."
Ultimately, she said, the advantage for the consumer should outweigh any issues. "Park one place, pay anywhere...it really is that simple," Hughes said. She also pointed out the convenience of the stations taking all coins, ones, fives and tens and credit cards, in addition to being able to use ParkMobile.
Hughes says anyone with questions can call the DDA at 248-546-1632. You can also visit FerndaleParkPlus.com.