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The new system brings the latest in parking technology to Royal Oak. It has proven to provide dramatic improvements in parking space turnover, parking space availability and therefore consumer convenience and access to downtown merchants wherever employed. It also has proven to drive much higher traffic counts and meter payment compliance, and therefore higher parking revenues, than legacy parking systems.
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The current meters are at the end of their useful life. The cost of maintaining or upgrading them exceeds the price of replacing them with meters offered by other vendors.
The parking meter was invented 80 years ago to ensure people pay for the parking they use and to regulate space turn over in congested areas, so everyone has a chance to park on main streets. Meters are used because they still serve these purposes. New meters being evaluated also offer additional consumer friendly features to ease payment, improve enforcement, promote local businesses, and provide public safety.
The proposed new meters represent an upgrade to the latest technology in both parking meters and in Smart City parking management technology. They have many consumer-friendly features, such as multiple ways to pay for parking, a bright, multilingual display with full audio-visual capabilities, unparalleled integration with a parking mobile app and even the ability to automatically recognize a license plate and pay for parking so the driver is never in danger of receiving a ticket. The meters also incorporate the latest in vehicle detection technology that allows for the complete capture of parking data behavior, and the ability to combine meter operations and enforcement by instantaneously detecting and documenting parking violations. This ensures uniform, 24/7 enforcement capabilities throughout the city, and allows officers to remotely enforce parking violations without the need to travel directly to a vehicle. Finally, the meters feature many other non-parking related features commonly found in SmartCity kiosk devices, such as the ability to broadcast audio-visual weather alerts and amber alerts, provide community service notices, display advertising, etc.
In most cases there may be a centralized Meter or Kiosk located a few spaces from your car where you will need to make payment.
No. The same rules, regulations and hours will apply. The only difference is that tickets for any parking violation may now be mailed to you rather than left on your windshield. Over time, Royal Oak may use the enhanced data about parking demand supplied by the system to evaluate changes to its hours and policies, but there are no such changes currently planned.
Coins, credit cards, pay by phone (app) and eventually the option to pay automatically through a license plate recognition system. There is a minimum charge of $1.00 for all credit card transactions.
Once the meters have been in place for several months and the public has become familiar with them, consumers will also be provided with an optional service that will allow for automatic meter payments for time used any time their car pulls into and parks at a metered parking space.
No. The meters do not have printers and they will not issue paper receipts or pay stubs. So, there is no need to place anything on your dashboard. But you may obtain a receipt via email simply by keying your email address into the meter and requesting one.
MPS is also Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant and must go through an independent audit to remain PCI compliant each year.
MPS just completed an end-to-end third party penetration test of both its software and actual hardware to verify that its solid versus hacking attempts, stealing hardware, and cracking open hardware.
As far as how credit cards work, the actual reader hardware encrypts the data and communicates to the payment gateway with a ‘token’. MPS never sees anything related to card numbers, which keeps it out of scope and helps us pass our audits. Our system also keeps owner info out of scope since that is done by municipal approved vendors.
MPS does not have access to anyone credit card information.
If you are familiar with smart phone mobile apps from other cities, Sentry Mobile works almost exactly like them. After you have downloaded the app onto your phone and set up your account, you will simply need to open the app and key in your space number and desired parking duration anytime you park. The app will debit your account for the payment and you will be ready to park. The app will also provide you with an alert 15 minutes and 5 minutes prior to your time expiring. You can add time (up to the posted limit) by making an additional payment at any time. The app will automatically email you a receipt for each parking transaction. The Sentry Mobile app is also capable of providing turn-by-turn directions to open parking spaces.
While the meters do have lots of advanced technology, they are very intuitive and user friendly. Operating them is as simple as depositing a quarter or inserting your credit card and pushing a few buttons on the touch-screen display to key in your space number. The meters automatically guide users through the process via audio and written instructions. The meters also have a help button which will trigger an audio-visual tutorial of how the meter works. In many ways, it’s like using an ATM machine.
The meters are programmed with English as their default language. However, the user can also push a button on the display screen to switch to either [Spanish] or [Portuguese]. The meters incorporate user-friendly graphic icons to enable those who do not speak English, to understand and operate the meter.
The proposed meters will be powered through low voltage electricity that will be delivered to the devices by below-ground wiring which will be sealed beneath the sidewalk. Utilization of wired electricity ensure that the system is adequately powered at all times It is more reliable than solar and battery-operated systems that require constant and costly battery maintenance and replacement.
Yes. The system relies on electricity rather than batteries. If not disposed of properly, spent batteries may introduce harmful materials into the environment.
Yes. The new system represents the latest in parking technology. It has cameras and other vehicle sensors that are designed to detect and document when and for how long a vehicle has parked in a space.
The technology has been in continuous use in other cities throughout North America since 2014 and has handled over 10 million parking sessions. It has been thoroughly tested and refined in all traffic, weather and other conditions and has proven to be very reliable.
If the meter that you park at is not working, the meter will indicate that your space is malfunctioning and will allow you to park for free. In most cases the meter will tell you it is malfunctioning only after you attempt to pay.
The Sentry system is in commercial use in the cities of Bridgeport CT, Cedarhurst NY, Flint MI, and Vancouver BC. The following cities have also tested the technology and are in various stages of evaluating or rolling it out: Austin TX, Boston MA, Bloomfield NJ, Cedar Rapids IA, Chelsea MA, Dubuque IA, Grand Junction CO, Hartford CT, Hamtramck MI, Holyoke MA, Indianapolis IN, Lodi CA, Lowell MA, New Britain CT, New Haven CT, New Orleans LA, Plymouth MA, St. Paul MN, San Antonio TX, Royal Oak MI, Minneapolis MN, and Worcester MA.
The new system does not automatically issue parking tickets. It merely captures photographic evidence and data associated with the alleged parking violation. This data will include the date, time, and location of the alleged violation, the time the vehicle first parked at the meter, the amount of parking time purchased at the meter, the time the meter expired, and the time the vehicle drove away from the meter. The evidence is accessed and evaluated by Royal Oak parking enforcement officers, who then authorize the issuance of a ticket.
The new system will provide enforcement officers with evidence to enforce the same parking violations they commonly enforce at metered spaces right now.
Royal Oak and the system’s vendor, Municipal Parking Services (MPS), will be conducting a robust 30-day education campaign to introduce the system to the public. Among other actions, this will consist of outreach efforts to the local media, briefings for downtown employees, a door-to-door introduction campaign for shops, restaurants and offices within the metered area, the distribution of brochures with instructions for how the system works and more. In addition, warning notices instead of parking tickets will be mailed for the first 30 days of operations to ensure that any routine visitors who might otherwise miss the introductory campaign will become aware of the changes in parking enforcement.
Michigan permits the issuance of tickets by mail once verified by city enforcement officers.
The meters are programed with a five-minute grace period during which a driver may enter and exit a space without paying. If a vehicle stays in the space for more than five minutes without paying, then yes, they may receive a ticket.
Tickets will be mailed within 1-3 days of the violation, so violators should receive tickets within 2-5 business days of any violation.
In the event you never receive your original ticket, you will receive default or reminder notices of an unpaid ticket from the Court. Violators can appeal mailed tickets in the same manner as other citations that are issued.
No. Although placing a parking ticket on the windshield is an accepted and time-honored method of serving a ticket, it is not the only way to serve a parking ticket.
Yes. Ticketing by mail is a legally valid method of serving a parking ticket in many US states plus the District of Columbia. It is also a legally valid method of serving parking tickets throughout much of Canada, including right across the border in Ontario province.
The registered owner of a vehicle is held responsible for any parking violations involving their unoccupied vehicle.
The process for appealing a ticket you receive in the mail is no different from the process of appealing a ticket served directly to you or directly upon your vehicle. You should consult the citation you receive for specific instructions about how and when to appeal.
: Each citation that is sent in the mail is accompanied by an evidence form that will provide details of the violation. So, both you and any official who considers your appeal will have contextual evidence concerning the violation.
Urban planning experts universally agree that tightly regulated curb-side parking actually fosters higher space turnover and therefore greater parking availability in downtown areas. This results in better access for consumers to downtown offices, shops, restaurants and other entertainment options, and higher customer counts for merchants.
It is highly likely that overall the new system will result in more tickets simply due to its ability to provide officers with evidence of violations in multiple locations across the town at the same time. However, for those who wish to avoid a ticket, the new system will offer greater tools for complying with meter regulations.
Although the proposed system is capable of monitoring "sidewalk" or pedestrian traffic for an additional fee, the City has no interest in that feature. All personal data collected regarding parking enforcement is owned by the City and governed by City protocol.
It is the City’s desire to move away from multiple platforms and move toward one or two parking platforms.
There has been some interest in the past, however that topic needs to be revisited once we get past the impact of COVID.
The MPS system allows for Royal Oak branding. It is also capable of integrating with Park Mobile, however many of the specialized features (i.e., turn-by-turn directions, concierge service, etc.) are not available through the Park Mobile application.
With the expected increase in enforcement, which should eventually be offset by an increase in compliance, there is no anticipated loss in revenue.
There are no planned changes to current handicapped spaces.
The author of this question added, "a graduated pricing structure would create a disincentive for people to park there all day because the cost would be astronomical."
Interesting concept. The purpose or intent of regulated parking is to keep traffic flowing and make spaces available for short term visitors to frequent the businesses and establishments that attract those visitors to the area. A graduated price structure might allow more affluent visitors to dominate spaces and negatively impact the businesses by reducing available spaces.
The DDA and its Infrastructure/Parking Committee has supported the investigation into replacing current, obsolete meters.
The vendor seeks a five-year contract with options for extensions. COVID actually presents an opportune time to upgrade the parking system with minimum investment or impact on parking revenue.
No, however the vendor anticipates a worthwhile return on their investment based on the data that was collected during the test period.
If there is no renewal at the end of the contract, the vendor would be expected to remove their meters.
It is anticipated there would be an initial increase in ticketing that would eventually be offset by an increase in compliance. Personnel needs would be evaluated throughout the process.
We don’t anticipate any negative impact on revenue due to an increase in enforcement and an ultimate increase in compliance.
No. There are no plans to increase parking rates.
No. Any proposed agreement will be reviewed by counsel to ensure that the agreement is in compliance with the covenants of the bonds.
The meters are very easy to see, intuitive, and provide audio and visual directions.
Each city mentioned, currently has their own systems.
There is no plan to change the current number of handicapped spaces.
Handicap spaces ARE charged at the same rate as all other on street metered spaces. Only those issued a yellow free-parking sticker in conjunction with a disability placard or license plate from the Secretary of State at the time of their parking session are eligible for free parking.
Yes, the Henry Ford Health Care building may pose some unique challenges for the 11 Mile Rd. structure that may need to be addressed in the future.
The app. is designed to provide the closest available space to your destination. If the availability of that space changes before your arrival, it is designed to provide you with the next closest space. We are hoping to integrate the parking structures within the app. The structures have lit signs with available spaces as you’ve described.
Good suggestion. Rates for parking structures are “free” for the first two hours and $.75/hr. afterward. The rates are published on the website, on signs in the downtown area, and sings at the entrance to the structures. We will also look at the feasibility of posting the rates on the lit occupancy signs.
Engineers have not determined the final configuration of the meters. The spacing of the meters may be varied depending on the usage in the area. The angled parking on Washington poses an interesting challenge that may require the installation of sensors detecting occupancy being coordinated with traditional enforcement efforts, or the retention of more traditional meters.
Although there is minimum maintenance involved with the propose MPS meters, they still require the routine emptying of coins, clearing coin jams, etc. There are also maintenance costs associated with the traditional meters located in the periphery of the downtown area and with the maintenance of the parking garages.
The city only plans to use the cameras associated with recording and enforcing parking sessions. Cameras associated with monitoring pedestrian traffic are a costly option that is not being considered.
The cameras/sensors detect when the space is no longer occupied and the parking session has ended. Minutes are not applied to the next vehicle. Any subsequent vehicle that enters that space would need to begin a new session.
The proposed solution for the surface lots would involve license plate readers at the entrances/exits and a number of meters/pay stations. It does not involve gates or turnstiles. Payment would be made at the meters/pay stations in a somewhat similar fashion to the kiosks that are currently in use at some of the lots.
What is being proposed is an attempt to eliminate the gamesmanship you’ve described, and make parking fair for everybody.
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Questions asked using the link provided will be added to the list found at romi.gov/parkingfaq in the future.