Parking season is upon us.
Beginning Sunday, May 1, all parking meters and kiosks in Lewes will be operational.
Mayor and city council approved a 50-cent increase to all meters this year. The rate is now $2.50 per hour at the two beach lots and $1.50 per hour in the downtown area. Parking is in effect from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Parking kiosks accept cash, but they do not have the ability to give change, said Parking Supervisor Dennis Crawford. He recommends people use a credit card or the ParkMobile app.
Like last year, anyone parking in a lot must enter their license plate information in a kiosk or use ParkMobile. Crawford reminds that all numbers and letters, such as PC and C, must be entered or drivers risk getting a citation.
“We typically give a warning if we have time,” Crawford said. “If they do it again, the fine gets reduced down to $10.”
It takes a lot of time for enforcement officers to search license plates that have been improperly entered, Crawford said.
New this year, Crawford said, is a QR code on the back of citations. When scanned, it takes people to a payment portal where they can pay the fine or file an appeal. Fines are typically $30. If not paid within seven days, they increase to $50. If not paid within 30 days, it becomes $75. If not paid within 60 days, it’s $127.50 and gets turned over to collections, which will likely add additional fees.
Crawford’s staff monitors all parking downtown and at the beach. In recent years, their responsibilities have expanded to the residential streets between Savannah Road and Roosevelt Inlet. They ensure no one is parking illegally, which is typically marked by paint on the pavement or signage on the streets. Visitors are also reminded to keep their entire car inside the white lines on Cedar Street. Residents and house guests are not permitted to use cones or temporary obstructions to block parking.
This year, they’ll also monitor parking at Roosevelt Inlet, which will soon undergo minor changes to add parking bumpers to better organize vehicles and improve safety. Crawford reminds all motorists that parking is head-in only.
“People just need to be aware that we do a tough patrol job,” Crawford said of his seven-member staff. “We’re really out there.”