Long Branch experiments with beachfront parking meters

The city is embarking on the experimental use of parking meters at the beachfront to gather data for a program that could one day generate much needed city revenue but could also potentially alienate residents visitors and business owners.
The experimental 90-day program is to take effect immediately, but more realistically, said City Business Administrator Howard W. Woolley Jr., it wont take effect until the city receives the roughly 60 meters as early as next week.

The meters which will accept credit cards, debit cards and cash come from Integrated Technical Systems Inc. of Wallingford, Conn., in partnership with Digital Payment Technologies to produce the meters.

The city is receiving the meters without being charged during the 90 days.

We probably are moving toward meters, said Mayor Adam Schneider. Im not crazy about the idea of parking meters, he said. But the potential revenue is something Ive got to pay attention to.

He noted that a similar program in Asbury Park appears highly profitable for the city there.

Asburys gross is enormous, Schneider said, and noted that the issue does not come with easy answers. If I produce $100,000 in revenue, it is something I have to think about.

Installing parking meters closer to the beach will not alleviate conditions for residents who in the summer know adjacent streets from the water to Second Avenue are packed, Schneider said.

Merchants, meanwhile arent crazy about meters, said they mayor, because meters do not encourage shopper turn over as motorists tend to claim a space all day.

Thats going to get contentious, said the mayor over the parking meter debate.

About 27 parking spaces will be created on the Beachfront North Great Lawn in what officials describe as the north zone while 32 will be created on the southern portion of the lawn.

The city Department of Public Safety is required to stripe and number the spaces and users will be charged $1 an hour on weekdays and $2 an hour on weekend days.

The meters would require payment from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There would be no charge from 9:01 p.m. to 8:59 a.m., officials said.

Overtime users would face a fine of $48 while those violating other portions of the ordinance would face fines of $50 for each violation.

For those wishing to pay for parking privileges on a monthly or yearly basis, they would be charged a fee of $10 a month or $100 year which would date from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, according to ordinance.

It was adopted last week unanimously by the City Council with Councilwoman Mary Jane Celli absent.
Integrated Technical Systems Inc.
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