By Alberto Gilman
Newburgh residents and visitors carrying change to pay the meters has now become a thing of the past, with new parking pay stations now in operation
The new meters feature a Pay by Plate system, meaning motorists will need to input their license plate each time they want to park. Beginning a parking session, users will also need to create an account and enter a zone number that is marked on nearby signage by the kiosk. Once that is all set, motorists enter their vehicle’s license plate number and input their desired length of stay.
In addition to the parking meters themselves to pay at, city residents and visitors will be able to utilize the downloadable Passport app to pay for parking. Visitors and other motorists will now have the ability to pay and manage their parking sessions from their smartphones and users can extend sessions remotely and review parking history and receipts with just a few taps. The Passport app is available for both Apple and Android users.
Paid parking will now includes Broadway, Front St., Liberty St., Prospect St. and Grand St. Parking enforcement for these specific areas will be from Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free parking on Sunday. The digital parking meters have also been installed along the Newburgh Waterfront corridor with parking enforcement hours running from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
During the regular city council meeting on August 8, residents were presented with the new digital parking meter system, a brief video on how to use the meters and additional information about the mobile app where residents can pay.
Susan Young, owner of Design by Sue on Liberty St., appeared before the council and was not in favor of the parking meters. While she operates her business on Liberty St. she also lives in the same building
Efrain “Gordo” Acosta, owner of Casa De Fxdes BarberParlor, is next door to Young and her business.
During the public comment period, Acosta concurred with Young regarding the concerns about the parking meters and would rather not have local streets such as Liberty with business be metered and locals having to worry about getting ticketed.
Between Young and Acosta, they had collected 330 signatures on a petition in opposition to the parking meters.
Michele Basch, owner of the Wherehouse on Liberty St. offered a suggestion to the city council that they could consider letting the first hour of a customer’s stay be free.
“Every single visitor I have met from different parts of the country and from the area don’t have a problem with the meters. I haven’t heard one complaint,” Basch said. “I have heard complaints from people who live in the area whose habits are getting disrupted. And I get it, change is difficult.”
Gabriel Berlin, Chair of the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee, suggested the city include a system to put cash on a card for those who were looking to use the meters but did not have a credit/debit card.
“Coin operated parking meters break too easily. Anytime new, you know, new equipment, new technology gets installed, there’s always a learning curve, any kind of progress, any kind of new equipment is gonna take a while for all of us to get used to,” Berlin said.
For information on how to use the pay stations and the mobile app, please visit the City of Newburgh website at cityofnewburgh-ny.gov.