RED BANK, NJ: Business Administrator Ziad (“Z”) Shehady opened the meeting for a public hearing on the new, on-street solar powered parking meters that the borough is considering purchasing. 

These parking meters will replace the current on-street meters and not the kiosk meters which are used on the boroughs parking lots.

Z introduced the borough employees responsible for parking issues in Red Bank which includes Cliff Keen, Director of Public Utilities, Tom Calu, Interim Director of Parking and Bill Wilk, Parking Operations Supervisor.

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Representatives for the on-street parking meters were; Joe Yorlano, Director of Sales for Integrated Technical Systems whose company is the borough’s main supplier for the present parking meter kiosks, and Bill Phillips, President of Meter Products, that represents MacKay Products, which is the parking meter the borough is evaluating.

To see the brochure of the Mackay products, click HERE.

How We Got Here

On June 1st, 2018, Red Bank formed a partnership with the Red Bank RiverCenter and Walker Consultants.  The Borough contracted with Walker Consultants for a fee of $52,350.  The RiverCenter contributed $25,000.

Walker had provided the borough a parking study report in January of 2019, and recommended upgrading the current parking meters.  "The Walker study highlighted was that we did not have good management information.  We didn’t have the data about our on-street parking utilization as well as peaks of occupancy,” said Shehady.  To read that report, click HERE

How and Why We’re Here

“We have to start modernizing our existing inventory.  From an operational standpoint, the meters themselves are becoming quite aged and obsolete”, said Keen.

Wilk stated, “We have the phone app for paid to park, but what it doesn’t do, and what these new meters will, is turn the old meters green,” meaning patrons did not know if their payment by credit card was applied because the old meters can’t sync with the parking department.

Interim Director of Parking Tom Calu discussed that his mandate was to address the (parking) problem areas and come up with a recommendation, “On what the borough should invest in terms of new fee collection equipment.”  He discussed that they agreed that all payment types should be accepted; coins, debit/credit and smartcards, as well as payment by an app. 

Calu followed the Walker study recommendations saying, “Whether a single (meter) post could handle two spaces, and that led us to two options; a smarter that smart meter, or the idea of using a yoke, which separates two meter posts on one yoke.  We opted for a meter that will handle one or two spaces.”

Yorlano related that the kiosk pay systems provide data and that, “What this (on-street meter) is going to do is bring a similar set of realities of information flow to (the borough), so you’re bringing everything into current day technology.” 

Summarization of On-Street Parking Meter Capabilities

  • Acceptance of all types of payment
  • All modular system, no tools required for fixing any internal pieces
  • Fully programmable to create different rate structures during the day
  • Alerts can be sent for coin or card reader jams
  • Borough messages can be entered on system

Data metrics can be drilled down to specifics; how long a car parked, payments, on what streets, etc.

Video Highlights

By clicking HERE, you can see the on-street parking meter representatives review and demonstration by sliding to the 30-minute mark.  The entire video of the meeting is provided by the courtesy of Suzanne Viscomi.

Next Steps

“This is one of our largest and most important investments into our parking utility in recent memory,” said Business Administrator Shehady.

Z admitted that the procurement will be a complicated process and first order of business will be determining, “How many meters will be needed, type of meters (one or dual space), where they’re going to be placed, the condition of the (mounting) poles, ADA compliance, and messaging/signage that will be inserted into the units.”

Time Line and How Paid For?

After these issues and cost estimates are determined, financing must be placed.

A bond ordinance will need to be introduced and adopted by the mayor and council, taking about a month’s time. 

With other legal and financial considerations, it would take another 60 to 90 days for procurement of the parking meters.

“That would be financed by the Parking Utility, so the revenues would be reinvested, so it’s not using tax payer dollars.  After all this is completed, we’ll be looking at some time in the Spring of 2020,” said Shehady.

How Much?

Depending on the number of units required, the cost of the meters will be between $200k and $250k, plus approximately $60 per year, per meter, for Internet costs.

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