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Ferndale Parking Update: ParkMobile is Back, Plus Tips for Pay Stations [With Video]

You can now pay for parking using ParkMobile at any of Ferndale's parking lots.

As users adjust to Ferndale's newly installed parking pay stations and revised rates, city officials are busy responding to questions, concerns and other feedback about the new system.

Here are a few things to know about using the new parking meters, courtesy of Ferndale Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius and Ferndale City Manager April Lynch. Also see the video to the right for a walk-through of using one of the pay stations.

1. ParkMobile is back.

ParkMobile is now fully integrated in all lots, said Sheppard-Decius. All parking space number signs now have a shield attached identifying the ParkMobile parking zone that users can enter into their smartphones.

2. You don't need to pay for a full hour.

Lynch said there seems to be a misunderstanding about needing to pay for a full hour even if you only need to make a quick stop. "A lot of people think that they have to put 75 cents in to walk into [a business] and come back out," she said. You can put in any amount of change for as little or as much time as you need.

3. You don't need to display your receipt in your windshield.

So there's no need to bring your receipt back to your car. Also, pay at the time you park - not when you're ready to head home. Both are misunderstandings users have expressed, according to the DDA.

4. Look for the code on your receipt to extend by phone.

If you paid by credit card and want the option to extend your parking session over the phone, make sure to keep your parking receipt so you can access the authorization code found on the bottom, which is needed to extend your session. Enter this code, not your space number.

5. You have time to pay before you'll get a ticket.

Sheppard-Decius said parking enforcement officers are trained on the new system and will be able to ensure that cars won't be ticketed in the time it takes a user to get to a pay station and potentially wait in line.

6. Ask parking enforcement if you need help.

"They know these pay stations," Sheppard-Decius said. "They can help you out and they are doing a really good job of it. It's not just about enforcement, but helping the customer through the system."

[Read more here on the new parking system in Ferndale, including plans for additional lighting and two more pay stations.]

If you have a question about using the pay stations or want to submit feedback, call the DDA at 248-546-1632 or submit a comment at ferndaleparkplus.com.

Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM
I emailed the following to the parkplus website, but I wanted residents to be aware. "Due to the recent rate hikes, inconvenient system, and changes to the downtown are, my husband and I are house-hunting in the surrounding cities, rather that exclusively in Ferndale. The amount of litter alone created by the new paystations is appalling. We eat and shop almost exclusively in Ferndale, and this "country club" mentality is the opposite of what we are used to. My husband took our 3 year old daughter on a Valentine's Day date and had to pay much more than we are used to for parking and wait in line while holding a small child in the cold. This child was talking to him, and all he could do the entire time was recite his 4 digit number to himself over and over to keep from forgetting it. A police officer was gracious enough to assist him in every way, and even HE couldn't get the paystation to take his brand new dollar. The officer ended up giving up, asking his spot number, and making a note that they had tried to pay so he wouldn't get ticketed. Not only is this a poor use of our police force while crimes are being committed elsewhere in the city, but the officers won't be assisting residents forever. If you have a mother with multiple young children, someone with a learning disability like dyslexia, or an elderly resident struggling with memory, the 4 digit system is a nightmare. The poorly lit lots and long processing times make me uneasy as a single female.
Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM
The poorly lit lots and long processing times make me uneasy as a single female. Ferndale stands to lose two taxpaying citizens, a child in the Ferndale school systems, and loyal shoppers, and that's in our family alone. I don't think the city can afford to continue along this path."
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 06:36 PM
I am hearing more and more, how people are choosing to look elsewhere for homes because the City seems to not care about its residents. That makes me quite upset. People are leaving this funky city because it is trying way too hard to be something it is not.
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Allison, The reason you might not move to Ferndale is because of changes into the parking system? Really? I agree that this system is not perfect and needs some revision. That said, it is a work in progress and will hopefully lead to better things. I just have a hard time believing that you would make a choice on where to buy a home based upon such an obscure concern. I am frankly concerned that you are simply attempting to fan flames with such statements. Let me be the first to say this then - if this is a MAJOR concern for you perhaps Ferndale isn't the place for you and your family. We are solution driven people who try to make our town better and don't just throw out hallowed threats to scare and intimidate!
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 06:39 PM
@Matt: This is a major factor to some people, especially young families. You are not a single female, nor are you seemingly helpless at a pay station.
Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Not a hollow threat at all, nor am I fanning flames. A major draw for us was the "Ferndale" atmosphere. Neighborly, unassuming, and never a go-with-the-flow capitalistic mentality. If a change as drastic as this can be made without considering the consequences and far-reaching effects to the citizens, I'm concerned what other changes are to come. I don't think that's a small concern. These are officials making decisions that are clearly not what the people of Ferndale had in mind. I didn't say we ruled out Ferndale. We just expanded our search. If we're going to live in a place trying to be "upscale" and full of itself, why not Royal Oak?
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:00 PM
@ Robert - I would suggest that safety and schools are the chief concern of young families (mine included). I agree that lighting at these units is an issue that should be addressed to allow persons to feel safe. That said, I don't know of any incidents of crime occuring while someone was waiting in line. Let's be solution driven (add more lighting at units) instead of just giving into fear and suggesting that the whole system should be scrapped.
Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I totally agree and I think the system's flaws are very fixable. The only things I'd like to see totally scrapped are the ridiculous increases in hours and prices for parking.
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:05 PM
@ Allison - This system has been planned for years. There were a multitude of opportunities for you to voice your concerns. I can think of several city council meetings where this issue was discussed. Please see attached: https://www.candgnews.com/news/ferndale-prepares-bring-parking-system-21st-century You know what's punk rock...community involvement. Did you speak at any of these meetings to explain your concerns? Have you sought any way to make this situation better? Ferndale is about community involvement....not just complaining about a problem but seeking to make it better.
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:07 PM
@Allison - if you think the issues are fixable...why suggest you will not live in Ferndale because of them?
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 07:08 PM
The system is flawed, and the implementation was rushed. What comes along with this issue is beggars and vagrants (which have already been documented on a couple other treads about this subject) pestering people for money, after that is larceny and then what?. It goes hand-in-hand. When the Police are not in place at each station after the "grace" period ends, it won't be as great an experience. I am not against coming up with a solution, as that is my business and my livelihood. One, more stations, no just moving some from other lots. This is Winter, the lots don't get near as much traffic as in the summer. B, more lighting is a must. Not just at the pay station, but everywhere. Some lots are poorly lit. and Last, a roll-out during the Summer would have been easier and come with a few less complications. With that being said, an amnesty period would be great. Ultimately, the purpose of all this is to get a parking garage, that is badly needed, that I do not dispute. There are better ways than doubling the rates of parking. Ferndale is now higher than Detroit, Royal Oak, Birmingham and Pontiac. To me, something is wrong with that. The Ferndale School system is a whole other discussion, one that I won't get into here, as there are major issues with that too.
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 07:10 PM
I was unaware of ANY public meetings on this as I do not have cable or get a paper. I try to stay up to date, but things like this should not have slipped through the cracks.
Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Because I don't like the direction this is going, Matt. And again, I remind you it only expanded our search. If Ferndale wants to be like Royal Oak and Birmingham, that isn't what we wanted for our family. If that's the direction it's going, then we'll also be looking in those cities. Let's face it. Ferndale middle and high schools aren't the best in the area. I really do try to be involved in the community, but this got by me and many other residents. I don't need to give you a laundry list of solutions, or even post it on the Patch, although more stations, better lighting, a faster, easier system to cater to ALL our residents, and fair rates and hours are all good starts.
Melissa Velasco February 15, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Matt get your head out of your a$$. This isn't Ann Arbor. Its another way for the city of Ferndale to make money by writing tickets............Hello?????!!
Allison Alexander February 15, 2013 at 07:18 PM
And one point Matt seems to have missed - our "trained on the system" law enforcement team couldn't get it to take a brand new dollar and gave up!
Melissa Velasco February 15, 2013 at 07:22 PM
They need to lay off some of the cops that don't do anything but write tickets. We don't need 25 cops at all corners 24/7. They don't do anything anyway. You have to wait in a long line to pay your taxes and they only have one employee there taking payments. Why don't they hire more help in the clerks office if they have all this money to throw around??????
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:22 PM
@ Allison - I agree the system is flawed and needs revision.
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:23 PM
@ Melissa - My head is on top of my head. Very poignant post that added much to the conversation.
Matt Nowaczok February 15, 2013 at 07:25 PM
@ Allison - I almost forgot - good luck in your house hunt and I hope you choose to stay in Ferndale.
Melissa Velasco February 15, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Oh how nice, I see the Police department just got 5 new vehicles!!!!! Im so glad( we )the tax payers have so much money to throw around, I would like a new car too. Then they say we don't have the money!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be at the next City Council Meeting for sure.
Melissa Velasco February 15, 2013 at 07:29 PM
This makes me so angry
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 07:32 PM
We can tell, and I am glad you are fired up about this. Laying off police is not the way to make our city safer or more desirable to residents both new and old. The police cars are a must, as almost every city in the area has very outdated vehicles compared to those criminals can get or steal. My taxes are not unreasonable, and I gladly pay them for the services that are provided to me. Which I might add are more than where I was living. I encourage you to go to the next Council meeting and speak up, just temper your expectations, as no form of government moves fast.
Rita Ray February 15, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Uh yeah... I think I am done doing business in Ferndale. This was kind of the last straw...
Easydude February 15, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Yesterday, I had to stop at the library. I used the new meters. I remembered the four diget number plugged the number in and it did not take. I had to do twice. The cost 25. I was fine. Since it was Valentine's Day.. We went to dinner and paid 25. per 15mins - - really. Again, the key pad stuck. We paid $1.50 for an hour and half. We arrived back with minutes to spare. Of course, a very tall man appoarched us asking for gas money. I am tired of the beggers working the lots. We need cameras and lighting.
Ferndale_1986 February 15, 2013 at 09:07 PM
It's not 1950 anymore; You don't have to pay your taxes in person. Mail your tax payment or put in the City Hall drop box. The City should not be wasting its time and personnel taking tax payments through a clerk at City Hall.
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 09:14 PM
@Ferndale_1986: That is a basic city service that will never go away, sometimes people feel more at ease with a person taking care of them, hence why we still have a clerk. Not everything can be handled autonomously.
Mark queentry February 15, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Allison, from reading your posts I really don't want you as a neighbor anyways. Poor memory or not good at "maff" are not qualities I tolerate well.
Robert Zograph February 15, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Wow, ignorant much Mark? I can not stand people that don't bring anything to a conversation, but just want to interject something ignorant. Have you read ANYTHING anyone has said on this issue? Any of the other discussions? I am sad to say that you ARE a neighbor of mine with a statement like that. Bugger off.
Mark queentry February 15, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Ok. Thanks.

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