NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The New Rochelle City Council will consider a a parking assessment of the downtown “Core District” prepared by a parking consultant to address the "parking emergency" which has developed in the downtown area due to the fact that the area has emerged as an evening dining destination with additional restaurants planning to open in the near future.
The recommendations by TimHaahs of New Brunswick, NJ include previously discussed ideas such as opening up more parking spaces by converting on-street “No Parking” and “Permit Parking” areas to metered parking, adding more sophisticated parking meters such as credit card meters and a Pay-by-Cell Program,
Two major changes would be an On-Street Valet Parking Ordinance and Convert Lawton Street and Memorial Highway to Two Way Streets.
A focus of the report is to both increase on-street parking and discourage the use of on-street parking, especially by area employees, by increasing the use and utilization of existing parkings lots; convert the Library Lot into attended facility to increase capacity add security guard to Church Division garage and prospect lot, expand Avalon Bay public parking and initiate a revenue share with Avalon Bay.
On recommendation is to implement consistent Downtown parking enforcement, a topic address in an analysis by Talk of the Sound in February: Parking Emergency? How About Enforcing Existing Parking Regulations in Downtown New Rochelle First?
An analysis by Talk of the Sound of tens of thousands of parking tickets issued by the New Rochelle Police Department over the most recent calendar year suggests that the so-called "Parking Emergency" in the Restaurant District in the Downtown Business Improvement District may be the result of a failure by the City to enforce a 2011 change in parking regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2012.
At last week's City Council meeting, New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome asked Council to authorize funds for an Emergency Parking Study requested by Ralph DiBart, Executive Director of the BID. City Council will vote tonight to authorize $5,000 for this purpose. In requesting the funds, DiBart painted a dire picture of the parking situation in downtown New Rochelle, especially in the area around the Restaurant District, the corridor along Huguenot Street and Main Street where it intersects with Lawton Street, Memorial Highway, Division Street and Centre Avenue.
Over the course of 2012, Talk of the Sound found that the number of parking meter violations issued in the BID area declined dramatically with most of that decline concentrated in the Restaurant District, indicating that the "emergency" is actually an "enforcement" issue.
The text of the entire report follows (we are seeking to obtain a clean PDF or PPT copy of the report and will add here if/when we get it):
In 2011, Timothy Haahs and Associates Inc. (TimHaahs) and Bier Associates were engaged by the City of New Rochelle, in partnership with its Business Improvement District (BID) to perform a parking assessment. In the final report, produced on August 21, 2011, TimHaahs provided the following:
• An assessment of the current parking rates and rule structure
• A review of Parking regulations and restrictions
• Improvement recommendations to optimize operations and increase user convenience
• An outline of revenue enhancements
• Parking management solution recommendations
• Guideline for policy options
• Evaluation of shared parking options
Please see appendix for a full summary of recommendations outlined in the August 21, 2011 report
In January of 2013, the Business Improvement District (BID) of New Rochelle engaged TimHaahs to provide a parking assessment of the downtown “Core District” due to the fact that the area has emerged as an evening dining destination with additional restaurants planning to open in the near future. The New Rochelle Downtown Core District is bounded by Main Street, Huguenot Street, Lawton Street, and Maple Street. The restaurants located within this boundary are the main parking generators in the District during evening hours between 5:00-10:00 PM, the corresponding period when parking demand is high for downtown residents. Figure 1 illustrates the Downtown Core District with boundaries and the restaurants within or adjacent to the District.
On-street parking in the District is regularly at or near full occupancy during the evening dining hours as are the Library Lots located in the center of the District. Municipal off-street parking facilities, specifically the Church/Division Garage are perceived as inconvenient due to their location. Additionally due to inadequate lighting and poor physical condition, parkers consider the facilities uninviting and unsafe. In addition, access to and from the Church/Division Garage and the Prospect Street Lot is circuitous and challenging due to the one-way street network. Accordingly, the lack of direct street access reduces the attractiveness of these parking assets serving the District.
With the addition of new restaurants and further development of the Core District, the District’s parking demand will increase and further exasperate what is already perceived by many businesses as a challenging parking experience. Accordingly, Tim Haahs was charged with identifying opportunities to expand the District’s parking supply and recommend management improvements to support the District’s dining and entertainment establishments.
More specifically, Tim Haahs was asked to provide a technical memorandum which contained the following:
• Identification of opportunities to secure additional public and private parking facilities that could be utilized (shared) during peak restaurant times (5:00 PM – 10:00 PM).
Recommendations for the operation and regulation of on-street valet services that provide equitable and appropriate utilization of the public right of way and on-street parking.
• Strategies to improve the access to and from off-street parking facilities adjacent to the Core Restaurant District.
• Identify user-friendly parking payment technology and enhancements to improve downtown parking patron experience and acceptance of parking fee collection.
Note: The full scope of services for the project included in the appendix
Existing Issues and Conditions
A) Stakeholder Interviews in Core Restaurant District
To gather specific information regarding existing parking conditions, stakeholder interviews were conducted on February 16, 2013 with members of the BID and downtown business owners, two of whom are also members of the New Rochelle City Council. This was done to gain firsthand information and a full understanding of restaurant and other business owner’s experiences with parking issues on a daily basis. The TimHaahs team met with restaurateurs business owners from Alvin and Friends, Modern Restaurant and Pizzeria, a new restaurant to open on 8 South Division Street (name to be determined), Coromandel Cuisine of India, Backstreet Gallery, and Talner Fine Jewelry and Giftware in individual meetings throughout the day. Phone interviews were also conducted on March 5, 2013 with Carpet
One, the Curtain Shop, the Gnarly Vine Wine Bar, and Posto 22.
The following is a list of concerns identified by the business owners:
• More parking is needed.
• A valet parking plan is needed. Current valet operations are unregulated.
• Restaurant employees are occupying on-street (metered) parking.
• The one-way street network is confusing and inconvenient for visitors to the area.
• Restaurant customers complain about having to leave their table to feed meters. The new credit card meter pilot program is convenient for patrons.
• Valet services are too great of an expense for business owners.
• Meters should be upgraded with both pay by cell phone and credit card options.
• Many loading zones are not needed in the evening. Loading zones could be used for on-street parking in the evening and provide added parking for restaurant patrons.
• New Rochelle should add more parking information on their website and communicate parking options to visitors.
• The city needs to have consistent parking enforcement of parking lots and meters during weekends and evenings.
B) Site Visit Observations
After conducting stakeholder meetings during the afternoon of February 16, 2013 in the District, the TimHaahs team toured the district from 7-9 PM and noted the following observations:
• Coromandel Cuisine of India, Modern Restaurant and Pizzeria, and Posto 22/Top of the Roc operate valet services on Fridays and Saturday evening from 5:00 PM-10:00PM within the study area.
• Double parking was observed in front of these restaurants as a result of the valet operations, which caused traffic backup on both Division Street and Huguenot Street.
• Parking storage for the valet services are in private lots.
• It is unclear how many available public spaces are lost to the valet service but it was evident that parking spaces were lost on Huguenot Street, Centre Avenue, Main Street, Division Street, Memorial Highway, and the Library parking lot and Avalon Bay Garage.
• Municipal facilities for potential shared parking include the Library Lot South and the Church Division Garage. Both facilities within the district offer the potential for shared parking during peak time restaurant hours.
• Both of the library lots had are centrally located within walking distance of several of the restaurants.
• Currently there is no designated employee parking or reduced rate permit parking for employees within the district. Many restaurateurs encourage employees to not park at on-street meters or lots that should be available to patrons. Restaurants indicated that many employees do not drive to work.
• Of the four restaurants interviewed, restaurateurs estimated a total of 85 employees worked during Friday and Saturday evenings.
• The existing one-way street network is difficult to navigate and is confusing to visitors of the area. Main Street, Huguenot Street, Memorial Highway, Lawton Street, and Division Street are one way streets that act as thoroughfares and do not encourage slow driving that conveniently allow a driver to identify restaurants and other businesses. In addition, If a patron passes their destination as a result of the one-way streets, they must proceed on a circuitous route throughout the downtown to return to their desired destination.
C) Occupancy Counts
TimHaahs conducted occupancy counts in the Downtown Core District in order to gain further understanding of the parking characteristics in the
• On-street parking in the District was at or near capacity.
• Approximately 50% of the metered parking appeared to be unpaid and in violation mode.
• TimHaahs believes parking occupancy was lower than normal due to counts occurring the Saturday after Valentine’s Day (Thursday) and due to cold weather. Temperatures for the evening were below 30°F. The BID confirmed that parking was close to capacity on the following weekend.
D) Issues and Recommendations
Existing District Restaurants Competing For Limited Parking
The Core Restaurant District of New Rochelle is a developing downtown dining destination. With over 30 restaurants in five city blocks, some of the restaurants indicate that they do not have convenient parking options for their customers. Customers either park in metered locations where available, in off-street lots in the District (Library Lots, public spaces at Avalon Bay Garage), or in unregulated on-street parking areas. On-street parking and the Avalon Bay Garage are regularly at or near full occupancy. On busy weekend evenings it was indicated that the Library lots are fully occupied.
Additional off-street parking resources include the Prospect Street Lot and the Church and Division Garage which are within 600 feet of the District which is an acceptable walking distance to parking in a downtown environment. However, these facilities are not perceived as attractive parking resources due to their distance from the center of the District, the difficulty of navigating the one-way street network to access the facilities, the fact that the most conveniently located spaces at the Prospect Lot are taken by permit holders, and the poor and uninviting condition of the Church/Division Garage and the pedestrian routes to and from these facilities.
In addition to established and recently opened restaurants in the area, which include Modern Restaurant and Lounge, Coromandel Cuisine of India, Posto 22/Top of the Roc, two new restaurants (Alvin and Friends and 8 South Division Street) plan to open in the near future. These five large restaurants are located in the heart of the Core District and have a combined seating capacity of 1000, providing the need for additional parking options. With the pending opening of the new restaurants, based on the estimated addition of 10,000 square feet of restaurant space, it is projected that the additional parking demand will increase by 120 spaces on weekday evenings and 150 spaces on weekend evenings. Table 3 represents the projected additional parking demand for 10,000 square feet of restaurant space in the District. Parking ratios are taken from Urban Land Institute (ULI) data with adjustments to account for the urban / walkable environment of the District.
1) Convert On-Street “No Parking” and “Permit Parking” Areas to Metered Parking
Within the District there is a considerable amount of curb space that that is presently regulated as no parking or permit parking only. Based on our observations in the District, there does not seem to be a compelling traffic safety or circulation reason to limit the on-street parking, as currently regulated.
In addition, well located on-street parking on Memorial Highway is regulated as “permit parking” for library employees and on Division Street as permit parking for residents. During the evenings and weekends when library employees are not using the permit spaces, area residents and employees are using the spaces to avoid parking fees at on-street meters or off-street municipal facilities.
On-street metered parking provides highly desirable and convenient parking for downtown patrons. It also helps calm traffic within the downtown environment, improving the pedestrian experience. On-street parking serves as a buffer for sidewalk, pedestrian activity, and sidewalk cafes. When metered parking is consistently enforced, it is highly effective at regulating parking spaces for intended durations and users. In addition, revenue generated by metered parking supports operations and improvements to the parking system and can be reinvested in the downtown district.
Based on preliminary observations, 104 potential on-street meter locations were identified within the District on the following streets:
• Huguenot Street
• Main Street
• Maple Avenue
• Centre Avenue
• Memorial Highway
• Westchester Place
The potential metered parking spaces are well located throughout the District. They offer an outstanding opportunity to increase the parking supply. The additional revenue generated by the new meter placements will help offset the capital cost of the new meter installations as well as on-going parking operations, maintenance and upgrades.
The City should perform a comprehensive audit of downtown streets identified in Figure 2 to verify the ability to add parking without negatively impacting pedestrian safety and the flow of traffic. To reduce the cost of installing additional meters, the meter casings necessary for additional meter installations could be obtained from the Church / Division Garage and Centre Avenue Lot where we recommend removing single space meters and converting to a multi-space pay station or from the Maple Street Lot where we recommended in the previous report converting to a multi-space machine to add patron payment options and use convenience.
2) Increase Avalon Bay Garage Public Parking Area
Another opportunity to increase the parking supply in the District is to increase the Avalon Bay Garage public parking area. Presently there are 38 public spaces in this facility regulated by a multi-space machine. The facility is continually at full capacity. Due to high permit parking fee in the garage, many residents seek to utilize nearby on-street parking. Accordingly, there may be excess capacity in the garage which would allow for the expansion of the public parking area.
The availability of parking in the facility could be easily confirmed with parking counts to determine the facility’s occupancy. In the event excess space is available, the access doors / gates that separate the public parking from the permit parking can be relocated to add public parking. To incentivize the building owner to expand the public parking area, a sharing of parking revenues generated by the additional public spaces could be negotiated. The pubic parking at the Avalon Bay Garage is highly convenient and well located and would be an excellent opportunity to increase parking in the Core District should space in the garage be available.
3) Centre Avenue Lot
If possible, convert all space in the Centre Avenue Lot North to transient parking and relocate residential permit parking to lot on Centre Avenue Lot South. The ability to make this conversion should be based on parking counts of the South Lot to confirm the available space to accommodate all residential parkers. In addition, additional spaces could be added in the Centre Ave. Lot North on the western side of the lot.
4) Convert Strategic Lots Into Attended Facilities To Increase Convenience and Capacity in the Future
A strategy to increase parking availability and convenience in the heart of the District is to convert the Library Lot South, Centre Ave Lot, and Church Division Garage to an attended valet lot from 5:00 PM-12:00 PM on Friday and Saturday evenings. Given the excellent location of this lot to multiple restaurants in the District, the facility could be converted to an attended facility where patrons would pay a parking attendant a fixed price ($5.00) at entry and be directed into available parking spaces. Once marked spaces are filled to capacity, the attendants would stack cars in the aisles thereby increasing the parking capacity of the lot by 12-15 spaces. Parkers stacked in the drive aisles would leave their keys with the attendants so cars could be relocated as needed to allow all patrons to exit.
It is anticipated that this recommendation would be revenue neutral to the city as the additional revenue generated by the pay at entry fee and the additional parking capacity would be sufficient to cover the operating costs associated with the parking attendants.
Unregulated Valet Parking Operations
In order to address the shortage of parking in the District, several restaurants run valet services for their customers on Friday and Saturday evenings. Coromandel Cuisine of India, Posto 22, Modern Restaurant and Pizzeria, and Top of the Roc all reported or were observed operating valet services during the field visit. Restaurateurs indicated that the cost of running these operations can approach $3,000/month per restaurant.
The valet operations are not regulated and occupy / monopolize on-street parking to stage operations and queue cars waiting to be parked by valet attendants or retrieved by patrons. The valet operations were observed double parking on congested streets and in one instance valet drivers were seen driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
1) Institute an On-Street Valet Parking Ordinance
A valet parking ordinance would regulate the use of public streets for private valet operations and limit the amount of public parking that the valet operation can monopolize. Valet ordinances typically require a permit application and associated fee. The ordinance limits the amount of curb space to be utilized for the valet operation and requires appropriate insurance coverage by the valet operator. Valet ordinances typically prohibit car storage in on-street parking spaces. An application for a city regulated valet operation typically includes the following components:
i. Insurance Certification: documentation confirming general liability coverage of a determined amount.
ii. Staging Diagram: shows the location and dimensions of the Staging Area, distance from intersections, location of signage and station, names and directions of travel on adjacent streets, location of adjacent businesses, location of cones and current parking restrictions on the parking spaces to be used for the Staging Area. This area must not restrict access on a public street.
iii. Storage Diagram: shows the points of ingress and egress, the number of total available spaces and the location and number of those available for Valet operator’s use and the names and directions of travel of adjacent streets.
iv. Travel Diagram: shows the travel route attendant will take to deliver and retrieve automobiles between the Staging and Storage areas. Route must show all City streets with names and directions to travel, an indication of north and the amount of driving time it takes to retrieve cars from the Storage Area.
v. Staffing Plan: this plan will include hours of operation, personnel numbers in order to reduce queuing during peak times, and set a standard for uniforms in order to create a professional appearance.
vi. Storage Permission from Parking Owner: permission must be written on letter-head stationary, and indicate the days and times and number of spaces that parking will be available for Permittee’s use.
vii. Drawings or Photographs of Signage and Stand: indicate the dimensions and information of proposed signage.
Required Parking Payment Technology Upgrades
The parking and technology equipment utilized to collect parking fees is a critical to customer convenience and the payment of parking fees. For many suburban patrons to a downtown area, the requirement to pay for parking is unfamiliar. Confronted with the requirement at on-street meters to insert 10-12 quarters to buy enough time for dinner, they will likely be inconvenienced and frustrated. However, if convenient payment options such as credit card or smart phone, payment of parking fees associated with an evening in the District become less of an issue or concern.
The present parking equipment in New Rochelle includes POM single space electronic meters for the on-street parking, and a combination of single space meters and Digital Luke multi-space pay machines at the off-street facilities. The multi-space pay stations have been well received by the public. The pay stations provide the convenience of multiple payment options including; coin, bills and credit card. These machines can also be easily programmed to offer variable parking rates and time limits. The electronic single-space meters are generally in good working order but only accept coins. These meters can also be programmed to offer variable rate and time limits.
Based on a recommendation in the original report, New Rochelle undertook a PILOT program to test Credit Card Enabled Meters (Single and Double Space). These meters allow users to choose from multiple payment options including credit cards, coins and ‘smart’ cards. The significant benefit of these meters is that they allow patrons to use credit cards for payment instead of the need to have several dollars in coin to pay for parking. According to Ralph DiBart, Executive Director of the New Rochelle BID, the credit card enabled meters have been well received.
1) Expand Use of Credit Card Enabled Meters
The City of New Rochelle should continue to expand its use of credit card enabled meters for on-street parking. New installations will provide convenient payment options for on-street parking. The single space meters are generally less expensive per metered space than multi-space pay stations, where one machine per 12 on-street parking spaces is recommended due to acceptable walking distance to the machine. In addition, single space meters are generally more familiar to suburban patrons parking in the District.
Given the consistent support in all of our interviews for both expanded on street parking and expansion of credit card meters the BID and the City should consider expanding this throughout the entire Business Improvement District.
2) Institute Pay-by-Cell Program
Pay-by-cell is another option for New Rochelle to enhance the convenience for all parking groups including: residents, merchants, downtown patrons and commuters. This payment system would provide a convenient method for visitors to pay for parking at facilities that TimHaahs recommended for long-term, overnight and weekend parking in the original parking assessment report.
Pay-by-cell phone systems are being implemented in a growing number of cities in the US. These systems allow patrons to pay for their parking through various cell phone- based applications (call, text, scanning a QR code). Using cell phones, patrons can extend their time at a meter or facility from a remote location. Text or voice message notifications can be sent to patrons prior to their parking time expiration. Pay by cell can operate in conjunction with the City’s parking meters and multi-space pay machines.
The convenience of paying for parking by cell phone and the ability to remotely activate and reactivate the parking session (where permissible) is a significant benefit to downtown users, whether retail or restaurant parkers with brief stays or commuters and employees with all-day parking needs. Cell phone payment systems eliminate trips to the meter to refill, and eliminate the need to carry coins. In addition, merchants can establish accounts to pay or discount customer parking via cell phone should they desire.
Pay-by-cell systems, in addition to offering convenience, are a financially viable option for New Rochelle. Typically the city incurs little cost to implement the pay-by-cell system because the service provider sets up the operating program, installs signage, markets the service, and negotiates with the city an appropriate service fee to be added to individual parking transactions paid by the user (usually $0.25 - $0.40 per transaction). However, because pay by cell systems are dependent on credit card payment, transaction fees associated with the service are either borne by the City or charged to the user.
To assess the benefits of pay-by-cell systems, the City of New Rochelle could engage one of the recognized system providers to implement a PILOT program.
Inconsistent Parking Enforcement
The City of New Rochelle, as per the recommendation of TimHaahs’ 2011 report, extended meter times for on-street meters until 12 AM. Fair and consistent enforcement of parking regulations is critical to the free flow of traffic, vehicular and pedestrian safety, and parking turnover to support local residents, retailers and merchants. Inconsistent enforcement of parking regulations is detrimental to the parking program.
Consistent enforcement in the evening will dissuade long term parkers (residents) and employees from occupying these spaces making more available for District patrons.
1) Coordinate Consistent Parking Enforcement and “Downtown Ambassador Program”
The BID and the City should coordinate to provide ensure that Community Service Officers (CSOs) are patrolling the downtown on evening and providing consistent parking enforcement. CSOs should patrol the District during all times that meters are operating to ensure that the enforcement is consistent and fair.
In addition to enforcing parking regulations, the CSO’s can serve as “Downtown Ambassadors” of the BID directing visitors to designated parking areas during peak evening hours, providing directions, and providing a security presence in the District by acting as the eyes and ears of the police and offering a reassuring security presence for visitors.
Traffic Pattern of Downtown Street Network
The current street network of the Downtown Core District features one way streets which are not user-friendly to restaurant patrons. Main Street, Huguenot Street, Division Street, Memorial Highway, and Lawton Street are all one way streets within the district.
Driver speeds are higher on one way streets, creating a potentially dangerous environment for drivers, bikers, pedestrians, etc. In addition, slower drive speeds increase visibility and make it easier for drivers to identify their destination and are perceived as more beneficial to downtown business. This is a characteristic that makes two-way streets extremely attractive to downtown businesses who increasingly support the transforming one-way streets to two-way.
In addition, one-way streets can be difficult for drivers to navigate, resulting in driver frustration. According to Dr. Vikash V. Gayah at the University of California, Berkeley, one-way streets increase the average distance between origins and destinations resulting in increased time and rate at which people reach their destinations limiting one-way street’s trip serving capacity.
Both Memorial Highway and Lawton Street have been identified as streets than can be converted to two-way streets by city traffic engineers. Other streets like Westchester Place and Division Street were suggested as locations for street conversion, after further analysis this would not work as Westchester Place is only 19.5’ wide and not wide enough for conversion.
1) Evaluate the conversion of Lawton Street and Memorial Highway/Church Street to Two Way Streets
Conversion of Lawton Street and Memorial Highway/Church Street would help eliminate some traffic circulation problems. Lawton Street was formerly a two-way street but was converted to one-way as a result of Avalon Bay construction. Lawton Street was never converted back to its original state. Because Lawton Street and Memorial Highway/Church Street are side streets, the conversion process will be less problematic and less costly than converting major thoroughfares like Main Street and Huguenot Street. Converting Lawton Street and Memorial Highway/Church Street will allow vehicles to eliminate the existing inconvenient circuitous route around the entire District along with relieving traffic from the heavily used Division Street. Figure 3 shows what the traffic circulation pattern will be in the District if recommended street conversions are implemented.
To fully evaluate the opportunity, challenges, and cost of converting the recommend one way streets two streets, the city should engage a traffic engineer to fully study the potential for two-way street conversion.
Church Division Garage
The Church-Division Garage is within a three minute walk to many of the restaurants in the district. However, the garage is in poor condition and is perceived by business owners and employees, as well as the public as unsafe. As a result of the condition of the facility it is often underutilized contributing to the perception of the facility as uninviting and unsafe.
It is understood that this facility may be redeveloped in the near future and that significant investment to improve its condition and appearance is unlikely. However, in the near term this facility can be a viable parking location for the District if the lighting is augmented, it is properly maintained and the payment technology is upgraded to provide convenient payment options for customers.
It is critical that the City’s parking facilities be attractive, well maintained, secure, convenient and provide a high level of user comfort and acceptance. Public parking facilities should present a positive impression of the City
1) Improve Lighting
Interior lighting should be added to augment the new lighting and bath the lower levels and approaching sidewalks in light to increase user comfort. The lower transient bays of the garage on the outside of the facility should have additional lighting fixtures to illuminate the pedestrian approaches to the deck along Church Street and Division Street. In addition, back lit sign boxes with the parking sign “P” should be installed so that it is visible to vehicles travelling on Memorial Highway and Division Street from the from Main Street.
2) Proper Maintenance
To improve the user comfort of the facility in the near term, the City should look at cost effective measures to improve the appearance of the first level including painting the underside of the garage on the first level with a light color paint to increase light reflectivity and increase user comfort.
3) Security Patrol / CCTV
To improve user acceptance of the Church Division Garage and the Prospect Street lot to support the Core District, additional roving security on Friday and Saturday evenings to assist in parking payment, ensure the safety and security of visitors and vehicles within the garage and the Prospect Lot. Cameras could also be added at strategic locations throughout and adjacent to the garage to enhance security.
4) Install Multi-Space Pay Machines
To improve user and parking fee payment convenience at the Church Division garage, two multi space pay stations should be installed at the lower tier of the garage for transient parkers. These machines, like the machines operating in the Prospect Street Lot and the Library Lots, offer parkers the convenience of paying with credit card and bills versus with only coins which is the sole option at the garage with the single space meters.
5) Employee Parking
To increase downtown employee utilization of the Garage during the evenings and free up on-street parking for District patrons, offer employees a discounted parking permit from 4pm to 1am in the Church Division Garage and the permit section of the Prospect Street Lot. This permit must be incentive priced to induce employees to park in the facility (Fridays and Saturdays) and assumes the presence of security and consistent on-street enforcement to motivate employees to use the permits.
Parking Signage and Communication
Current downtown way finding signs directing parkers to the off-street public parking lots and garages are clear and visible. However, identification signage at municipal parking facilities is not highly visible from the street and is utilitarian. In addition the parking signage related to enforcement hours is clear but there need to be more signs installed promote compliance.
1) Improve Lot Identification Signage
Lot identification signage should be installed at key vehicular approach locations, notifying potential parkers of the name of the lot and the type of available parking. The lot identification signage should be attractive and represent the aesthetic character of New Rochelle and the downtown area.
2) Online Parking Guide
Include an online parking guide on the city’s website that has GPS locations of parking facilities number and type of parking spaces, rates, and locations of downtown destinations. With GPS patrons will have an easier time finding public parking locations.
3) Recommendation Summary
1) Convert On-Street “No Parking” and “Permit Parking” Areas to Metered Parking
2) Convert Library Lot Into Attended Facility To Increase Capacity
3) Expand Avalon Bay Garage Public Parking Area
4) Institute an On-Street Valet Parking Ordinance
5) Purchase Additional Credit Card Enabled Meters
6) Institute Pay-by-Cell Program
7) Implement Consistent Downtown Parking Enforcement
8) BID implements a “Downtown Ambassador Program”
9) Convert Lawton Street and Memorial Highway to Two Way Streets
10) Improve Interior and Exterior Lighting in Church Division Garage
11) Proper Maintenance of Parking Facilities
12) Improve Exterior Appearance of Church Division Garage
13) Add Security Guard to Church Division Garage and Prospect Lot
14) Converting Parking Lot Spaces
15) Three additional spaces of parallel parking could be added in the Centre Ave. Lot.
16) Expand Avalon Bay Public Parking and Initiate a Revenue Share with Avalon Bay.
17) Cheaper permit rate for District employees at Church-Division Garage and back section of Prospect Street Lot
18) Improve Lot Identification Signage for all Facilities.
19) Online Downtown Core District Parking Guide on Municipality Website