The Commission continues to work with the police department on changes designed to improve the overnight parking request system. The revised system will utilize software that makes it easier to request overnight parking online and eliminate the need to make requests using the overnight parking phone number. The software currently is under development and should be ready by February, at which time the existing ordinance will be updated to reflect the changes.
The goal of the ordinance will remain the same as always: to promote public safety by keeping as many cars as possible off the streets between 2 and 6 a.m. The new technology not only will streamline the system for people who have legitimate reasons for parking overnight on the street, but it also will make it easy for police to track people who abuse the system, requesting on-street parking night after night instead of purchasing a permit in one of the municipal lots or garages.
Here’s how things are expected to work. Each license plate will be permitted a certain number of opportunities per year for overnight street parking—around 10 “passes,” according to Police Chief Aaron Lauth. People who exceed that number for a single plate will need to purchase nightly passes for a fee, probably around $5. IT Manager Nick Schalles, who is developing the software, says the software will recognize license plates that have exceeded the permitted number of free overnight parking requests and direct the person making the request to another page on the website, where they will need to click to purchase a one-night permit. People who exceed the limit and park on the street without paying for a pass will get a $20 ticket, as they do now.
Permits also will be available in in person at the customer service center in the municipal building, where a staff member can instruct anyone who might need help with the computer. There also may be a kiosk for buying overnight parking permits in the public safety center.
If there is construction or utility work taking place on a street that forces people to park overnight, there will be no charge. FAQs on the new overnight parking rules will be posted to www.mtlebanon.org in January.