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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Stone Harbor Panel: Make No Changes to Paid Parking Dates, Fees

Stone Harbor Panel: Make No Changes to Paid Parking Dates, Fees

By Vince Conti

A ParkMobile sign in Stone Harbor.
File Photo
A ParkMobile sign in Stone Harbor.

STONE HARBOR – The Borough Council should make no changes to the dates or fees for paid parking for the 2024 summer season, a council committee has recommended.

The recommendation by the Administration and Finance Committee was voiced by its chair, Jennifer Gensemer, at the Feb. 20 council meeting. The full council may need to vote on the matter at some point since the fees for parking for 2024 have not yet gotten formal council approval.

The borough designates several areas near its business district for paid parking from May 1 to Oct. 1 each year.

In 2023 the borough experienced a rocky implementation of its introduction of the ParkMobile smartphone app as the way to pay for parking. The result was a surge in parking tickets that for the summer were up over 350% when compared to the previous year.

The chamber of commerce had requested that the council consider the reintroduction of credit card-based kiosks as an alternative method of payment, but the council decided against the move following an analysis of costs by Administrator Manny Parada.

At the Feb. 6 council meeting there was discussion of doing away with paid parking entirely or significantly shortening the dates for which it would be in effect. The Administration and Finance Committee recommendation indicates that the council is moving in the direction of no change to its long-standing policy of paid parking during the summer months.

Several members of council believe that the experience with ParkMobile improved toward the end of the 2023 season and that the carryover to 2024 should be smoother functioning of the new system, without another round of soaring parking tickets. The borough has significantly increased signage to inform drivers when they are in a paid parking zone and how to complete payment.

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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