No more park­ing for free in lots?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­ paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

The days of park­ing for free in the city’s mu­nic­i­pal lots could be num­bered.

Mayor Steve Noble wants to have park­ing pay­ment kiosks in some or all of the roughly half­dozen lots, and five com­pa­nies that pro­vide them have sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to City Hall. The sub­mis­sions were in re­sponse to a “re­quest for pro­pos­als” is­sued by the city on Sept. 19. Tues­day was the sub­mis­sion dead­line.

“The City of Kingston, NY is so­lic­it­ing pro­pos­als from in­ter­ested and qual­i­fied firms, ven­dors and/or con­trac­tors to fur­nish an off-street pay sta­tion park­ing sys­tem for its busi­ness dis­tricts,” the city doc­u­ment read, in part.

Kingston in­tends to buy or lease about 15 of the pay sta­tions.

Me­gan Weiss-Rowe, the city’s di­rec­tor for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, de­clined to pro­vide the names of the com­pa­nies that sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als.

“We will re­lease the names and bids of the com­pa­nies after an award is made,” Weiss-Rowe said in an email.

Noble first dis­closed the paid park­ing plan dur­ing a Mon­day press con­fer­ence at which he un­veiled his pro­posed city bud­get for 2017.

“We’re propos­ing to charge for all of the lots that we have,” the mayor said. “Right now we’re get­ting the RFPs (re­quests for pro­pos­als) in to ... de­ter­mine the num­ber of kiosks that we would need and be able to de­ter­mine how much the rates are in the park­ing lots.”

Noble’s bud­get in­cludes about $175,000 in rev­enue from the park­ing lots.

“Our goal is to be able to make our park­ing more con­ve­nient and higher qual­ity ser­vice there,” he said.

But not­ing that each kiosk and its in­stal­la­tion could cost $8,000, Noble said the city has to con­sider cost ef­fi­ciency, es­pe­cially for smaller lots.

“If we have a lot that has six spots ... it may not make sense to put in an $8,000 kiosk,” he said. “We may want to put reg­u­lar me­ters in or some­thing along those lines.”

Noble said the kiosk sys­tem will be ben­e­fi­cial to users.

“Users of our park­ing lots will be able to eas­ily pay by cash or credit card at kiosks, with short-term and dis­counted long-term op­tions avail­able,” he said.

Some of the lots could have more than one kiosk.

“The park­ing pay sta­tions are in­tended to im­prove cus­tomer con­ve­nience by of­fer­ing mul­ti­ple ways to pay, en­hanced se­cu­rity and re­li­a­bil­ity and abil­ity to pay at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions,” the re­quest for pro­posal states. “The sys­tem must be van­dal-re­sis­tant and [have] a com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem ca­pa­ble to in­te­grate with the city en­force­ment and ci­ta­tion sys­tem.”

Noble said the city also might ac­ti­vate a sys­tem that would make it eas­ier to pay at the ex­ist­ing on­street park­ing me­ters.

“Our on-street me­ters will also soon al­low pay­ment by smart­phone,” he said. “Users will be able to re­ceive alerts when their time is run­ning out and will be able to add ad­di­tional time through an easy-touse app on their phones.”

Cor­re­spon­dent Wil­liam J. Kem­ble con­trib­uted to this report.

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