Lewes Parking Supervisor Dennis Crawford said visitors are learning how to use the city’s new meters and kiosks, although it’s been a challenge.
“It appears people have gotten used to the new system,” he said. “Both downtown and in the lots. We are getting far fewer questions than we did back in May.”
The city has 91 on-street, single-space meters. The previous meters were very old, and replacement parts were hard to find. The new meters accept quarters and credit cards, and ParkMobile is still an option.
The kiosks were also old, with limited replacement parts available, and they used 3G modems that are expected to go obsolete within the next few years.
The new kiosks require users input their license plate. All numbers and letters such as PC must be included when paying. Crawford suggests visitors take a photograph of their license plate with their phone so they don’t have to memorize it.
If a plate’s letters are not included, a citation will be issued. Crawford said the State of Delaware issues license plates with the same numbers, some with letters and some without. He said it is not the responsibility of parking enforcement officers to spend extra time searching the database for incorrectly entered plates.
If someone is unsure of their proper license plate number, Crawford advises they look at their registration card, where it is clearly stated.
The kiosks will accept cash and credit cards, and ParkMobile is also an option. Folks may also go to www.myparkingreceipt.com, where they can add vehicles and credit card information. Then when they get to a kiosk in Lewes, all they have to do is swipe their credit card and all the information will fill in for the user.
There have been only a few instances when the new equipment has not worked properly, Crawford said. But when that occurs, he said, he’s responded quickly because the new machines send a message to his phone when there’s a problem. The equipment also sends him a message when coin boxes are almost full, and all citations are promptly uploaded to his computer in the police station.
One challenge that remains, he said, is people feeding the wrong meters downtown. In many places, Lewes has two meters on a single post in the middle of two spaces. Despite adding arrows to each meter and painting arrows on the curb, Crawford said, people are still going to the wrong meters.
Visitors are also learning, sometimes the hard way, that Lewes extended its metered parking hours to 8 p.m. The city is also strictly enforcing the three-hour limit, head-in parking only and parking within the lines. The three-hour limit is only in effect in the downtown area. If someone wishes to stay longer, they need only move into a different zone, which is often a different parking lot.
Crawford has instructed his staff to take photographs of vehicles and license plates when issuing a ticket for proof if the person complains or tries to fight the ticket.
If someone receives a parking citation, they must pay the fine within seven days, which was increased from three days earlier this year. If not paid within a week, the fine increases and offenders are notified in the mail.
If someone forgets to include the letters of their license plate and is issued a citation, they may contact the police department for an adjustment.