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CITY OF NORTHAMPTON

MAYOR DAVID J. NARKEWICZ
City Hall 210 Main Street Room 12 Northampton, MA 01060-3199 (413) 587-1249 Fax: (413) 587-1275 mayor@northamptonma.gov

MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: DATE: SUBJECT: Transportation and Parking Commission Mayor David J. Narkewicz February 21, 2012 Request to amend ordinance §312-36 Meter Locations and Regulations: to increase monthly parking permit fees from $30 per month to $60 per month

In the spring of 2011, during the FY12 budget process, the Mayor proposed increases to parking fines and parking meter fees. Ticket fines were increased from $15 to $25 for Group A fines and from $10 to $15 for Group B fines. It had been more than ten years since ticket fines had been increased. Meter fees were also increased from $0.50/hr to $0.75/hr for all one and two hour meters; ten hour meters and long term lots were increased from $0.15/hr to $0.25/hr; other ten hour meters were increased from $0.25/hr to $0.50/hr. Monthly parking pass fees, however, were inadvertently not included. With the increase in fines and fees, the department has seen an increase in the number of monthly parking passes purchased. Monthly parking passes can be used in the long term lots and the ten hour meters and passes currently cost $30/month. The number of parking passes sold each month are capped at 300 and up until this fall, had never sold out. However, in November, December and January of this fiscal year, monthly parking passes sold out quickly. The increased popularity of the monthly passes appears to be a direct result of the meter fees and parking ticket fine increases. For example, before the parking meter fees were increased, an individual using a ten hour meter, during normal business hours, five days per week, would spend $0.25/hour for eight hours or $2.00 per day, or the equivalent of $44 dollars per month. A monthly parking pass at $30 per month was saving them $14 per month, a discount of 32%. After the parking meter fees were increased, the same individual would spend $0.50/hour, or $4.00 per day, or the equivalent of $88 dollars per month. A monthly parking pass at $30 per month is currently savings them $58 per month, a discount of 66%.

Mayor David J. Narkewicz To: Transportation and Parking Commission

February 21, 2012 Page 2 of 2

The following table illustrates the impact of the previous, current and proposed charges for different scenarios:
Ten Hour Meter $ 0.25 $ 44.00 $ 14.00 32% $ 0.50 $ 88.00 $ 58.00 66% $ 0.50 $ 88.00 $ 28.00 32% $

Examples Using Most Common Scenarios
FY11 charge per hour Cost to park 8 hrs/day - 5 days/wk - one month Cost to park 10 hrs/day - 7 days/wk - one month Monthly Pass at $30.00/month - Savings % Discount FY12 charge per hour Cost to park 8 hrs/day - 5 days/wk - one month Cost to park 10 hrs/day - 7 days/wk - one month Monthly Pass at $30.00/month - Savings % Discount FY12 charge per hour Cost to park 8 hrs/day - 5 days/wk - one month Cost to park 10 hrs/day - 7 days/wk - one month Monthly Pass at $60.00/month - Savings % Discount

Long Term Lot 0.15

PREVIOUS CHARGE

$ 45.00 $ 15.00 33% $ 0.25

CURRENT CHARGE

$ 75.00 $ 45.00 60% $ 0.25

PROPOSED CHARGE

$ 75.00 $ 15.00 20%

Both of these examples demonstrate that the monthly pass at $30 per month is a considerable discount and likely explains why monthly passes have become more popular. In addition, purchase of a monthly pass is also good insurance, since two parking tickets in a month would cost $30. My proposal is to increase the monthly parking pass fee from $30 to $60, which is consistent with the percentage increase on the parking meter rates and parking ticket fines (a 50% increase). The new monthly pass rate will maintain a discount similar to what was in place prior to the increase in hourly rates. My office’s research indicates that most of the monthly passes are purchased by residents of the downtown area or by downtown businesses (lawyers’ offices, Faces, District Attorney’s Office, etc.) purchasing the passes for their employees. I believe increasing the monthly parking pass fee is consistent with the increases in the rates and fines and still maintains a reasonable discount for holders of monthly parking passes.