The City of Fullerton will soon be launching a test program that will charge guests for parking during specific hours. This program will be assisted by the use of new technology, including license plate readers.
Patrons will pay to use certain parking garages or lots in Downtown Fullerton in the coming month. The City of Fullerton recently gave the green light to a pilot parking program that is expected to take place sometime late June.
The pilot parking program is going to take place over a course of 180 days, after which city officials will analyze the data collected and determine whether to continue with the program, or find other ways to implement parking solutions for Downtown Fullerton.
The use of new technology will be involved in this six-month test run, which will invoke the use of parking kiosks and car license plate readers.
The highlighted times people will be required to pay a $5 flat rate for parking are specified after 9 p.m. and before 1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This program will apply to some of the parking lots and garages in the Downtown Fullerton area, but mostly lots off of Amerige Ave. and Santa Fe Ave.
It was contemplated that even if people visiting Downtown Fullerton park outside of the $5 timeframe, they would still be required to enter their license plate number into the kiosks that the city will be installing in the lots. After recent feedback, the city has decided this will not be the case and the kiosks will only be used by those seeking to park during specified hours.
The city will use data collected from the kiosks to analyze when the spaces are being used. They will also check to see if the data will integrate the parking to help the local business in Downtown Fullerton.
Ted White is the Community Development Director for the City of Fullerton and is the lead for this project.
“It’s intended to help create a revenue stream for providing enhanced maintenance, infrastructure and security in Downtown,” White said. “We’ll give it 180 days and will be monitoring the impact to surrounding communities/businesses and then decide if it makes sense to do something long term, expand it, or cut it back and go from there.”
The use of license plate scanners has been generating some buzz as Fullerton residents have concern over privacy issues, although the city insists its data will not be paired with data from that of the DMV or local law enforcement.
“There is no plan to use that data [from kiosks], we’re not selling that data to anybody and not trying to infringe on privacy,” White added. “The enforcement of whether you paid or not would be done through the license plate reader technology. This allows our staff/parking management company to drive through the parking lot using those readers instead of having to step out and check tickets on dashboards…it’s all about staffing efficiency.”
According to the city staff report from April 23rd, the total cost of implementing this program is set at $55,000 with an estimated yearly revenue of $28,500.
Word about this new parking program is spreading to nearby residents and college students, whom occupy the Downtown area and contribute to the local businesses.
“I think it could benefit the business in Downtown Fullerton, and could possibly improve the flow of customers,” said local college student Star Tactay. “This is similar to what other cities have been doing like Long Beach.”
Other nearby cities have introduced similar parking systems, and the Fullerton pilot parking system will a be featured by the use of a smart-phone app. This way returning customers or locals will not be required to enter their license plate numbers every-time they would like to park.
“The kiosk system will be supplemented by an app, so you can pay your fees through the app and not go up to the kiosks every time. Newport Beach has the same exact system right now.” White said.