Pilot OK’d For New Parking Meter Pricing Plan

Thomas Breen file photoIt’s official: New Haven will test out “congestion” pricing at its parking meters.

The Traffic Authority voted Tuesday night to authorize the city to roll out a pilot for the concept, which also goes by the terms “dynamic parking” or “performance-based parking.” It means that the city raises or lowers the price at different meters based on how much they’re being used, with the goals of maximizing parking and keeping spots open.

The plan to explore what has variously been called dynamic parking or performance-based parking, or congestion parking, has been nicknamed “A Quarter For A Quarter,” by Traffic, Transportation & Parking Director Doug Hausladen. whose working group has developed the details over the past year.

City of New HavenCity transit chief Doug Hausladen said the pilot will begin in January, when all new signs are up, and continue for three years.

Under the plan, whose details and sample rates you can read here, it might end up costing you 75 cents an hour to park near the Green in the morning, but then $2.50 in the afternoon when demand is great, for instance. If you don’t mind parking on Prospect Street, you could pay only 50 cents in the morning, 75 cents at night. 

And it might bring the city up to $122,000 in new meter-generated revenue a year, while cutting down on pollution and drawing more visitors to town, Hausladen estimated.

The city will tweak the prices —  25 cents at a time, every three months — at each meter based on how often people have been parking there. The goal is to free up a couple spaces in high-demand spots downtown, get more people parking overall, and fill in spaces on the periphery of the city’s central core.

“Parking For Democracy”  Also Moves Apace

Another pilot program designed to result in greater citizen participation in our municipal democracy offers free validated parking for those attending aldermanic, commission, and other formal city meetings.

Hausladen offered a nine-month update at Tuesday night’s Traffic Authority meeting, which was held at 1 Union Ave.

The program, which was introduced at the prompting of Dixwell Alder Jeannette Morrison to encourage citizen participation in lawmaking, works like this: If you’re participating in a public meeting at City Hall or the Hall of Records at 200 Orange St., you park at the Elm and Orange lot, then take the dispensed ticket with you to City Hall or to 200 Orange.

On your way in, or at the end of your meeting, you present the ticket to the guard at the security desk. He or she takes down your name, address, and meeting attended. Then you get a little bar-coded sticker. You place that sticker on the dispensed ticket you received at the lot. When you drive out, insert the stickerized ticket in the Elm and Orange lot’s machine, and you leave without having to pay.

Morrison, in pitching the pilot, reported that many people stayed away from meetings for want of parking or in anxiety about receiving a ticket. The pilot is designed to remove such obstacles.

Hausladen reported that more than 200 parking sessions have been validated in total since the program started.

Morrison, who was present at the commission meeting, praised the work of Hausladen and City Engineer Giovanni Zinn, who has just received aldermanic approval to place permanent sandwich boards on the sidewalks by City Hall and the Hall of Records informing people of the program.

Morrison said the signage, which has been rolled out in stages, is the only hitch she sees.

The Orange and Elm lot continues to have plenty of capacity, so the hope is that as the word gets out more and the signage more evident, more citizens will participate.

“As small as this may seem, this is huge because we’re making laws,” Morrison said in remarks thanking the commissioners and staff for their work.

Commission Chair Anthony Dawson urged Hausladen to take the program information out to all the community management teams. Hausladen pronounced that a “great idea” that he will follow.

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posted by: Noteworthy on July 12, 2018  8:30am

It will go up in January - when the city doesn’t clean the sidewalks, and nobody can crawl over the snowbanks. Bottom Line: This plan will cost parkers more money. It’s not about freeing up parking - it’s about getting more money.

The dynamic part is how it will dynamically lift money out of the wallets of shoppers, diners and taxpayers who are visiting city hall in pay their 11% tax hike - which in part pays for Mr. Hausladen’s 15% - $13,500 pay boost as a FOT. This is how he will make up for lost parking revenue - which ironically, may be the result of making our lives more difficult.

posted by: Lorirobin on July 12, 2018  10:19am

Museums not open to 11. some stores open later too. This helps no one except early morning delivery trucks and the company owning the meters and lots.
For every one else, it’s a hike in the cost of shopping, eating, attending shows, and other events or doing anything to enjoy the good things downtown New Haven offers.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 12, 2018  11:16am

Again. The people have been sold out by Judas Goat politicians.

posted by: dad101 on July 12, 2018  2:38pm

It is becoming more and more apparent that they only people who will be in downtown new haven are the homeless so that the police have someone to justify their overtime slips and the Yale’s students and their families who for the mos part can afford what ever is thrown their way. People will not participate in the restaurants who have made their way downtown. the small shops aren’t even interested in locals coming to shop, if you arent a yallie then go back to where you came from. The wealthier people will continue to park in their same spots all this does is takes the common person and pushes them to go else where and this common person has just decided to do so.. No longer using music shops in new haven , no longer using shake shack no longer using banks downtown. Restaurants where already treading thin with the uptick in crime so NOW most definitely will find other venues in other towns. Hell even Bridgeport has affordable parking for all the great new restaurants!!!!!!!!

posted by: John Champion on July 12, 2018  6:52pm

The fact that we are paying high priced FOTs
to come up with the nonsense is an affront to local taxpayers.

posted by: BlueDogMom on July 13, 2018  6:36am

In the end, increased parking costs ultimately discourages car traffic and that’s is what they want. Extra money is just a bonus. When we all throw up our hands and realize if we want to get downtown to pay our tax bill or see a show, it will be by Uber-because heaven knows the buses are really not much of an option for those in outer areas of the city. Wait, wait, that’s right, I suppose I could hook up my bicycle to a rickshaw to take my kids downtown on the ever promised safe bike lanes. What they fail to appreciate is that families with strollers and multiple children, the elderly and individuals with specialized needs who can never get one of the few handicapped spots will have to pay more when visiting after school programs, libraries, museums etc. What a smart economic program to roll out when the middle class is realing from a retroactive tax hike.  It’s almost as if they are purposely trying to kill business in the heart of the city. If we don’t recall the mayor, the city is destined for bankruptcy and I don’t think Yale will do anything about it.

posted by: challenge on July 13, 2018  8:34pm

As always residents will complain and be ignored as city government steam rolls over their lives. Sad reality since this administration took over.