Thursday’s Board of Selectmen meeting included a presentation from Greenwich Police Deputy Chief Gray who oversees the parking services department for the town.
He proposed a doubling of fees for parking at meters on Greenwich Ave, where parking is very limited and drivers frequently circle the block multiple times before landing a spot spot.
The proposal is to up the rate from $1.00 to $2.00 per hour. (Today it costs $1.00 for an on street parking spot per hour and 75¢ per hour in service lots.)
“The cost is still low compared to the actual value of convenient parking to the shoppers on Greenwich Avenue,” Gray said. “But most of all the doubling of the cost will not impact the average Greenwich Ave shopper, but we’re hoping it will affect the parking habits of others.”
He said they were aware anecdotally that many meter-feeders were employees in the area, and he hoped they would be dissuaded from continuing to do so.
“Our neighbors in nearby communities all have higher rates in their meters, lots and garages,” he said. “You can pay $2.50 per hour for spots in Manhattan. In the outer boroughs in business districts and neighborhood retail districts they pay $2.00 and $1.50 per hour respectively.”
Deputy Chief Gray said the town’s program to offer permits to park in long term municipal lots had 36 permits available, offering a cost savings.
The cost of one of those permits is $722 a year, so a permittee would recoup the fee in 18 weeks compared to feeding a meter. (The $722 annual fee is not affected by the proposed rate change.)
“To our eyes every spot on the Avenue, at its peak usage time, is precious,” Gray said. “If we shift even half of the available permits from the Avenue to the long term lots, I see this as a win.”
Janet stone McGigan said she saw the issue of meter fees as linke to outdoor dining on the Ave, which was the next item on the agenda. (Story coming next)
If the proposal is approved (after a second read) parking services is prepared to implement the change as early as April 3, 2023.