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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Analysis

August Adds to Excess of Parking Tickets in Stone Harbor

By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – At the Sept. 5 Borough Council meeting, Councilman Reese Moore said 705 parking tickets had been issued in the borough in August compared with 350 for the same month in 2022.

Stone Harbor has continued to see a surge in issued parking tickets following the implementation of a new pay-for-parking protocol that depends on use of the ParkMobile app.

In the four months from May 1 to the end of August, the borough has issued 3,409 tickets as compared to 748 in 2022, a four-month increase of 356%. However, the surge seems to be abating. By the end of September, the summer parking tickets in 2023 will be history, as the figurative meters are turned off Oct. 1.

For two meetings now, Moore has tried to broaden the focus on the issue. Instead of a focus on the increase in tickets, he has called the public’s attention to two other statistics.

Moore noted that revenue for parking in the borough is on track with total revenue for 2022. He said year-to-date revenue in 2023 is $349,000 and the total revenue for 2022 was $450,000. This is parking revenue only and does not include any payments for fines.

Whether another $100,000 will come in during September is yet to be seen, but Moore’s point is that on the whole, parking is running at a pace that it always has. He said less than 2% of those trying to park in the borough are having problems doing so.

Moore also developed a statistic called “tickets per parking space,” which he said shows that the tickets per space in Stone Harbor were not so much different from neighboring Cape May.

Cape May considers parking its number one problem, making it an interesting selection for comparison. In Cape May, two separate citizen advisory committees have been tasked with making recommendations to alleviate the parking problem and finding ways to fund those recommendations.

For many visitors to Stone Harbor who have received tickets, Moore’s refocusing of the discussion may not be a source of comfort. In a year in which 2,661 more tickets have, so far, been issued than in 2022, the focus of those visitors may remain on the surge in tickets.

Moore said at the end of the parking season, the borough will conduct an analysis of what went wrong and what went right with its new parking protocol. The goal will be to make parking in the borough a “more friendly and efficient” process next year.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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