One of life’s little joys will soon be coming to an end in Midland.
With the King Street rejuvenation project nearing its grand finale, new parking metres have been added. But unlike the traditional models they’re replacing, these ones ask for your licence plate number. And that means an end to the small delight of parallel parking into a spot to discover there's time left on the meter.
The town is installing 70 pay-by-plate machines along King Street along with downtown side streets, between First Street and Midland Avenue, as well as in all 10 municipal lots.
The total cost of the project is approximately $545,000, according to Midland communications and marketing coordinator Randy Fee, who noted the parking rate will be the same as with the previous meter system, 25 cents for fifteen minutes or one dollar per hour.
Parking will be enforced from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday for on-street parking and all municipal lots, with the exception of the harbour, where enforcement will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Overnight parking will remain free from April 1 to November 15.
“Over the past year, we have had the opportunity to engage with our council, business organizations and residents and provided additional updates through the budget process,” Fee said.
“We are also launching a public engagement piece on Engaging Midland inviting residents to provide feedback and suggestions with the parking service as the program launches.
“As always, we want to ensure we adapt and continue to address the needs of businesses, their staff and residents while meeting our budget commitments to them.”
Fee said there are a number of benefits to the new machines, including flexible payment options ranging from coins and debit/credit card to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
“An accompanying mobile device app will allow you to keep tabs on the time you have left, and purchase more time if needed,” he said.
“Unlike other parking systems, you do not have to go back to your vehicle to put a ticket on the dash, you can simply enter your licence plate number, pay and continue on your way.”
As well, Fee noted that from a staff resource perspective, this new system will make it more efficient for bylaw to enforce and to create custom parking options for events and holidays with parking permits also becoming more efficient.
“The new IPASS system is end-user driven and customers can log into the system, register, pay and manage their accounts at any time,” he said, noting permit users will no longer need to go to the municipal office to obtain permits.
“From a revenue perspective, the previous parking system generated approximately $250,000/year through paid parking and enforcement.
“When the new system has been fully implemented, those revenues obtained from all users, including casual visitors and neighbouring shoppers, are estimated to increase significantly allowing us to reinforce reserves and fund infrastructure projects.”