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.