Aug 06, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Cazenovia residents and visitors are not paying to use “Peggy’s Lot,” the paid public parking lot next to the post office on Lincklaen Street, so the village board decided Monday it was time to change how the lot is operated.
Starting next week, 18 of the 23 spaces in the lot will be offered for monthly use via parking passes during daytime hours, while three spots will remain general use at the cost of $1 per hour. The remaining two spots, closest to the post office, last week were changed to free, 10-minute parking for postal patrons.
Parking after 6 p.m. and on Sundays will remain free. Overnight parking will remain prohibited — although that may change in the future as well.
“In my observation — and I think I speak for the entire board — the lot has been tremendously under-utilized,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler during the board’s Aug. 4 regular monthly meeting. “We’re not too proud to say we made a mistake, that the current approach is not optimizing the use of the lot.”
The village created the lot at 22 Lincklaen St. last year as a way to make the village for visitor-friendly — to serve visitors, and residents, who needed convenient parking for more than two hours. The 23 spots are available at a cost of $1 per hour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, payable at the electronic pay station; all other times are free, and overnight parking is prohibited.
While the lot is typically full on evenings and Sundays when parking is free, during the payable hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Peggy’s Lot” is virtually always empty.
The village board has been aware of this situation for some time. During the beginning of 2014, so many complaints were made from residents about the lack of lot use, the lack of 10-minute postal parking and the “difficulty” of operating the pay station, Wheeler wrote a guest column that was printed in the Cazenovia Republicanto address the issues. At that February column, Wheeler said the village would continue to monitor the usage of the lot through the summer and make changes to its operation if necessary.
At the end of July, the village board put out a call to residents seeking their input on ways the village could improve the Lincklaen Street lot’s attractiveness for parking. Wheeler offered one suggestion himself at that time, suggesting the option of offering monthly passes, targeted at those who work downtown, at bargain rates – perhaps $20 per month. That would allow all-day parking for about $1 per business day, eliminate the worry of being ticketed for overtime parking and open up about 20 spots along Albany Street for shoppers, he said.
The village board discussed the parking lot issue at its Aug. 4 meeting, during which trustees Fritz Koennecke and Dave Porter both said they liked Wheeler’s idea of issuing monthly passes. Trustee Amy Mann said that the lot’s rough monthly income is $100 in winter and $200 in summer, and, while the lot’s creation was to improve parking and not to generate income for the village, selling monthly passes would at least bring in the same amount of money as currently comes in from the pay station, but would hopefully bring the village closer to its objective of improving downtown parking. Wheeler said he had received some positive feedback from local business owners about the pay permit idea, as well.
After a discussion of options, the board unanimously voted to sell 18 monthly parking passes for the lot at $20 per month, good only during daytime hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., parking will continue to be free. Passes will be available for purchase beginning Monday, Aug. 11, at the village office.
The board agreed to try this approach for Peggy’s Lot for the remainder of this year, and then make more changes in the future if necessary.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.