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Parking pilot programs discussed

By Staff | Dec 6, 2013

The Shepherdstown Town Council voted to approve a new “Park Mobile,” app at a special meeting held Monday evening.

The “Park Mobile” App, was introduced by council member David Rosen, who first brought the idea to the Shepherdstown Business Association and the Parking Committee.

The “Park Mobile” plan would make it possible to pay for metered spots via credit/debit card or pay pal through use of the app on a cell phone.

A sticker would mark each meter along with a QR code directing users to the smart phone app.

Rosen said the system would provide the advantage of letting users “feed the meter” remotely via their phones.

It would also provide text or pop up alerts letting users know when their meter time is nearing expiration.

“I think it will really help people.” he said.

The special meeting agenda also included discussion of a previously proposed “shoppers pre-paid parking pass.”

Introduced earlier this year by business owner Pam Berry and members of the SBA, the pass would allow businesses to sell or gift daylong parking permits to customers for use at any metered parking spot.

Council members decided to send the issue back to the SBA and parking committee after Rosen offered a possible alternative or “tweak” to the proposal.

Rosen suggested the plan include validation stamping for customers who haven’t purchased a day-pass, but need a ticket forgiven.

Rosen said he found the alternative after concerns were raised regarding the specifics of the Shopper’s Pass proposal.

“I like the idea.. My fear is the abuse of that system,” he said.

“The more options we provide the better.”

Council member Bane Schill said the day-pass could only be approved with certain legal stipulations to guard against “the discrimination of protected classes.”

“It’s a very divisive proposal,” he said.

The council did agree to approve the “Park Mobile,” app for a year-long pilot program to begin sometime early next year.

Rosen will return to the SBA and parking committee for further discussion of each item.