Among the changes coming is a plan to roll out a pay-by-phone application next month. “Already in place in the MBTA Commuter rail lot, users who sign up will have the option of paying for their ticket and refreshing their time using the Parkmobile application, instead of having to physically go to the kiosks. In addition, the city has partnered with Generate for Schools, a locally based credit card processing company that will save the city over $1,000 annually in transaction fees and will also donate a small portion of their annual proceeds to the Newburyport Education Foundation.”
Earls, who supported the paid parking plan when it went before the City Council in 2011, called it a “complex and evolving issue” that in the short term is working.
“However, there are issues which need to be addressed immediately. Business owners have expressed concern that time limits have forced some customers to cut their visit short. I have asked the Parking Advisory Committee to consider lengthening these restrictions in particular lots, to assist local businesses. There is also the need to monitor, and respond to, changing patterns on residential streets so that neighborhoods are not negatively impacted. The most common management tool is a Residential Parking Permit Zone.
“In the near future, the city needs to refine and define the Waterfront Park parking. My plan includes using a portion of the paid parking revenues to leverage a short term revenue bond. This will enable the city to complete the Waterfront Park. As mayor, I will encourage the NRA to keep the Waterfront Park clear of buildings and, instead, sell their development rights to developers near the Route 1 traffic circle and to property owners in the industrial park.
“Long term, the city’s Waterfront Strategic Plan depicts a waterfront park that is clear of parking and buildings. This will be accomplished through the construction of a parking facility. As mayor, I will have the city form a partnership to build a public / private parking facility. The continuing paid parking receipts from this facility will provide ongoing finances to maintain our waterfront and other city parks.”