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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Senior Citizen Parking Pass Proposal Faces Further Review

File Photo
Shown is a ParkMobile sign in Stone Harbor.

By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – Whether the borough moves ahead with a proposed senior citizen parking pass is less clear now than it was just weeks ago.

The proposal was made to aid seniors on parking during the summer season, when paid parking is required in the business district and adjacent areas. During the early days of a new smartphone app-driven payment system for parking, the number of tickets issued in the borough soared.

Council President Frank Dallahan said he had anecdotal evidence that the individuals having the most trouble with the new app were senior citizens, and proposed a senior citizen parking pass that could be purchased directly from the borough. For an undetermined fee, seniors would have the ability to park in borough-owned lots without having to use the parking app.

Dallahan said the fee most discussed was $100 for a season, and the age to define “senior citizens” would be either 61 or 65 years old.

Audience reaction at the Tuesday, Oct. 3, borough council meeting showed that many who would meet the age requirement had difficulty considering themselves seniors. There was also discussion that a $100 fee might be too high for individuals who do not park in the district daily.

What seems to make the proposal less likely to be implemented is a sense that efforts to aid people in downloading and installing the app appear to be working, so the level of need might not now be as great as when the proposal was first suggested. There is also concern that an existing parking permit plan used by many business district employees already saturates the available spaces in municipal lots.

Council members agreed to continue looking at implementing such a program.

“We have time,” Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour said, before the next summer season of paid parking. Parking in the borough is free from Oct. 1 to May 1.

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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